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Addicted to approval

Discussion in 'Other Substances' started by nebula, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. nebula

    nebula Member

    Sometimes I feel like I am addicted to the approval of others, especially members of my family. It's like I can't be happy with anything I do unless I know others approve, and I can't be proud of myself unless others are proud of me. I would love some advice on how I can change this because it is one of my least favorite things about myself for sure.
  2. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    Ahh, it reminds me a little of what my husband is like. He's very much what I would call a people pleaser - he feels bad saying no to people, he'll sacrifice his own time to help others (not that it's always a bad thing, but sometimes he just over commits simply because he won't say no) and he does seek the approval of others to help his own self esteem.

    I don't really know specifically how to help but there are a lot of books out there about ways to stop being a people pleaser or needing approval from others. They could be a good starting point for you.
  3. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    Do something for yourself. Take a piano lesson, yoga lesson or even painting lesson. Do not tell anyone about it. Do it to learn and enhance yourself. You will feel accomplished and happy afterwards!
  4. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    The problem here is that you don't see things clearly. No one is able to judge someone and tell them "yeah, that's good. No, that's bad". You shouldn't look after approval from others. You should look at improving yourself as a person and only focusing on yourself. People don't really care that much, they only seem like they do. That's the cold hard truth.
  5. CallipygianGamine

    CallipygianGamine Community Champion

    I have a bit of this, though I’ve gotten somewhat better about it. So I sympathize. I think it’s a good idea to go ahead and do something solely for yourself as well, without telling anyone about it. And learning to say no is another important factor, which is something that I still struggle with.
  6. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Yeah this is a common one. You definitely notice when someone is not like this. I think it is more of something that you evolve into. There probably isn't any real advice on that because it is something that you have to come to terms with yourself. Deflecting the negative. The one that I have read recently is to make your conversations about the weather or road conditions. It's funny to think like that but it is not actually your problem that they don't approve of things you do or want to do. It is all about how YOU feel about it. It is better not to include these kind of negative people in important things because they are part of the reason that you feel this way. Some people or even family have a way of doing that. They lower your self esteem. When really they should be inspiring you and supporting your desires.
    It can be challenging because you want to include them. There low level thinking or mentality is not actually your problem. Keep it simple and focus. You know what is right for you.
  7. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Community Champion

    There are people who really cannot judge their own actions and behavior without asking first the approval of other people. For this reason they are not able to perform and appreciate their actions well in their own way and capacity. And this often leads to be uncomfortable the way how they think about themselves. So it is better that you do what you think what is right for yourself because you know yourself better than what other people think about you..
  8. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think it is not addiction yet since you feel it just sometimes and I also think that there are really times that we need approval or feeling of being appreciated. Better if you will be able to appreciate yourself also for your achievements cause that could give real happiness. We should not be always seeking approval in order to be content or believe in ourselves.
  9. rightct

    rightct Community Champion

    This is very normal if you lived in an entourage in which you felt way too secure and everyone took decisions in your place. This might've worked for when you were, like, 10 years old and your reckoning wasn't very developed, but now don't forget it isn't the case anymore, if you're older of course.
  10. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I can really relate to what you are saying. For years I was like that. I always worried about what others thought about me and I was always seeking people's approval. It was so much so that I stayed in a bad marriage for way too many years because I knew that my parents and family would not approve of me leaving my husband. They all believed that marriage was until death do you part no matter what but they had good marriages. They had no idea what I went through on a daily basis because I never shared it with them. I wanted everybody to think that I had the perfect life with the white picket fence and all.

    Finally after twenty plus years I decided it was time to leave. I was right, I didn't get the support and approval from my family. Some of them even sided with my ex and believed that I was having an affair or something. They shunned me but that only made me stronger. It was then that I realized this is my life and I need nobody's approval. I am in charge of my own happiness. I pay my own bills and they had no right to tell me how I should live. If they don't like how I lived then it is their problem not mine.

    Since that time some of my family has come around but others still to this day don't speak it to me but I am okay with that. I feel more confident now and I have learned to live my life my way. I don't need anybody's approval. It was a long road to get to where I am today, it wasn't easy, but I am happier now then I have ever been.

    I hope you will be able to get to a point in your life where you feel the same way. Life is too short to be anything but confident and happy.
  11. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    It's hardly an addiction as such but if you are constantly seeking approval from others, it might be worth trying to determine why. Do you have any issues with self-esteem or confidence at all? It might be that working on these things increases your confidence in your own actions, allowing you to become happy with yourself.
  12. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Well, I can relate to you on some levels. Usually when I try something new I need approval from people, but I am proud to show my work and achievements to them.

    Try to be more relaxed and connected to yourself. Maybe meditation would help? Lay yourself on your bed or somewhere cozy, and concentrate on your breath. Let your bad thoughts fade away and surround yourself with beautiful people, animals, it can be whatever you want, really, as long as it keeps you relaxed. Good luck!
  13. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Senior Contributor

    You got to learn how to do things by yourself mate. You can't be dependent on every one if you have the power to take care of your self. Maybe go do something fun like watch a movie or go to an event and explore the world!
  14. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I think it's all a matter of conditioning. If you've been bought up with strong family values, you're more likely to want approval from your family, as you are very close to them (and they to you). If, on the other hand, your upbringing was more liberal, independent, or even negligent, you are more likely inclined to act on what you personally think is best, without waiting for anyone to give you the thumbs up.
  15. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I think I've always tried so hard to gain the full approval of my mother, specially in the last year our relationship has gotten better and better. I think a lot people has this kind of issues, I'm trying to find a balance right now, because I am my own person and what my mom thinks of me shouldn't be so important. I say this because she is so hard to please and super judgmental.
  16. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    Set goals for yourself and achieve them. The best way to feel good about yourself is to test yourself. Advance your self in life weather education, business ect. You'll know what your made of, and you don't need others opinion for that. When you believe in yourself, others tend to believe in you regardless.
  17. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    There are many folks out there that seek the approval of others, what you're experiencing is not uncommon. It's not something that you can magically cure in a day or two. Most reasonably well-adjusted folks don't have this urge to approve those that are close to them. They tend to accept and love them for who they are. Keep this in mind as you gradually start making changes whereby you won't seek the approval of those around you.
  18. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I think you have to change your mindset first, more than anything else. You should wean yourself of trying to please people so that they will like you. You should develop a mindset that whatever you do, you don't need the approval of others so that you can feel better about yourself.
  19. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015 Community Champion

    I think that what you are describing as being addicted to approval might be a sign of something else such as codependency. Though you can get hooked to lots of psychological things, like constantly putting yourself at risk to get a "rush".
  20. Joyner

    Joyner Member

    There was a book written about this, but I didn't care for it so much because it was mainly from a religious standpoint. Which would have been fine, except the platitudes started to wear thin. It made me think the person was out to prove how spiritual they were and how they could publish a book, rather than helping other people overcome approval addiction.

    I know what you mean, and it's even worse these days with social media like facebook. Tell the truth, how many people are obviously posting things and even creating scenarios for photo ops so that they can get "likes" and approval from others. It can make people even more depressed when it looks like others are getting hundreds of likes and have so many "friends." And I've learned that people who get this attention, it's never enough. They always have to keep posting in order to keep their self esteem up.

    The most important thing is to recognize the source of this addiction and focus on what YOU love, what YOU approve of. For me, focus on approval started with trying to be nice to everyone, because I felt if I was nice, it would minimize people hurting or gossiping about me. I would hope they would think, "Oh, let's not say anything bad about ___ or make fun of them, since they are so nice." In a way, I guess I also wanted people to owe me kindness in return. Clearly that didn't work out --- I soon learned that people don't feel they owe you anything. And in the worst case? A lot of people will take your kindness for weakness.

    So the answer is FOCUS ON YOU. Since people don't owe you anything, the bright side is that you don't owe them anything either. You don't owe them explanations, and certainly not your life. What can they actually take away from you, anyway? They aren't G-d. By focusing on what you want to do and what you do well, you won't have to rely on anyone's approval but your own.
    pstrong1969 likes this.