Need for approval: how to deal with it?

Feeling flattered and accepted by others is a very satisfying experience. It is not wrong to want the other's approval. However, if we feel upset or frustrated when we are not accepted, then we suffer from a need for approval.

When being recognized by the other becomes a necessity, we subordinate well-being to the opinions that others express about ourselves. This condition tends to develop in people with low self-esteem and little self-confidence.

There are strategies that help to cope with this situation. Here are some of them and help you identify what symptoms people in need of approval have.

What is the need for approval?

According to the psychologist Wayne Dyer (2010), the need for approval is equivalent to the affirmation that what one thinks of himself is more important than the opinion that I have of myself. This means that self-worth depends, to a large extent, on the approval of others. To such an extent that it becomes a condition to feel good.

Keep in mind that wanting the approval of others is not bad. It is even undeniable that flattery is pleasant for most. However, it becomes a problem when it represents a need rather than a desire.

When approval seeking is a necessity, you give a part of yourself to others. Consequently, their support or praise will be essential to feel good. If they disapprove you will experience discomfort and frustration.

When personal well-being is subordinated to the approval of others, you run the risk of frustration.

What are the symptoms?

Acknowledging the problematic approval search is vitally important to set off alarms and set coping strategies in motion. That is why, below, we present the main indicators of this condition.

Fear of expressing one's opinion

People in need of approval tend to silence opinions or arguments that disagree with those of others. The main reason is that they fear that the other will get angry or make a fool of themselves. Instead, the other is granted reason in order to please and not feel judged.

Emotions and self-esteem depend on approval

Another symptom of this condition is the dependence of the state of mind on the treatment of others. That is to say, if the person does not receive any compliments, they will feel sad, angry or frustrated. The same happens with self-esteem; what you are told about your physical appearance or personality will influence how you feel.

Inability to say "no"

It is common for those with a high need for approval to lack assertiveness. For example, they are unable to say "no" when asked for a favor. Despite the fact that this means sacrificing other personal activities or your own rest.

Also read: Knowing how to say "no" is good for your health

Excessive concern about looking perfect

The need for approval leads the person to want to show off a perfect physical appearance at all times. In this way, if someone sees her without fixing herself, they will fear that others will have a bad opinion and that they do not want to continue sharing time or activities.

Sacrifice of spontaneity

When the approval of others is needed, the person always seeks to be too correct and hides those aspects of his personality that he considers undesirable or wrong for society. The reason is excessive fear of being rejected or criticized. This measure ends up being a great source of long-term discomfort.

Coping with the need for approval: 4 tips

Once the most prominent symptoms of the need for approval have been identified, we will teach you some effective strategies that will help you face this situation and feel better about yourself.

1. It's impossible for everyone to like you and that's okay

Start to accept the fact that many people will disagree with you and won't even understand you. In the same way, you will not understand many people around you and you do not have to. It is a reality that we are all different.

2. Talk to yourself

Faced with criticism from others, talk to yourself to break the chain that connects what others say and do and your own assessment. In those moments think that "This is someone else's business, it has nothing to do with me". This will help ease the discomfort you get when you associate someone else's feelings with your thoughts.

Likewise, start to wonder if you would be better off if others agreed with you. The answer is clearly no. For what they think cannot have any effect on you, unless you allow it.

Even, it is very likely that you begin to realize that important people (friends and loved ones) love and accept you more when you care little about disagreeing with them.

3. Work on your self-esteem

This is one of the best coping strategies you can employ, since a lack of self-confidence is one of the main causes of the need for approval.

Start developing positive thoughts about your worth. Assume that you are a valuable person, trust your skills and abilities. Sure you have all the potential to carry out activities that generate insecurity, but you don't believe it. Start to change that mindset.

Discover: Tips to strengthen self-esteem

4. Change the questions to statements

He begins to notice how many affirmative sentences you pronounce and how many in question form. Then try to express more opinions than questions. For example, instead of saying “what a good movie, right? " gave "that's a good movie".

If you are always asking questions, it means that you are seeking approval. This reflects a lack of confidence in your own ability to take charge of affairs.

Why is it important to address the need for approval?

Approval from friends and loved ones, in general, does not depend on our internal limitations on what we think they think of us.

The importance of facing this situation lies in the relief of mental and emotional discomfort. Therefore, if you start working on it, you will start to notice the following changes:

Higher levels of well-being and happiness: If you assume that other people's opinions are more valuable than your own and then fail to get their approval, then you will feel depressed, guilty, and unworthy. By letting go of these ties, you will be responsible for your happiness and well-being.

You will not be subject to manipulation by others: the need for support and approval can be a means of manipulation. The greater the need for praise, the easier you will be manipulated. Any step toward independence and seeking self-approval takes you away from the control of others.

Achieve your personal goals: If you face the need for approval, the goals you set for yourself will be easier to achieve, since you have been conditioned to need the support of others to achieve something. Once this condition is overcome, you will feel freer and with more power to make your dreams come true.

The need for approval is worked

Overcoming the need for approval takes practice and effort; it is not something that is achieved overnight. But it's not impossible.

Coping with this situation is sure to be easier for some people than others. Certain cases are even likely to require the help of a psychotherapist. That being said, if you feel like it's a daunting task that is overwhelming, you can always ask for professional assistance.