"I hope I get the approval I deserve on this."

It’s a pretty fair assumption that most people want to feel loved and accepted.

From the time I was a little girl, I wanted the approval of my family, friends, and others.

Typically, we want to be approved of by others, but it’s not realistic to think that everyone will accept and approve of us. And, that’s alright. Not everyone has to approve of us, right?

However, when we alter our moods and self-worth based upon the approval or disapproval of others, we set ourselves up for huge disappointment.

What you seek from others – that approval – should not be what fills you up.

YOUR opinion of yourself is what fills you up. Your amount of self-love.



Self-Approval/Self-Love: How Much Do You Have?

Do you love yourself? Do you really? Here’s a good way to know if you do or not.

When someone – let’s say a significant other – disapproves of something you say or do, do you tailspin into a “woe is me” party? Do you feel awful and rejected? If so, chances are you’ve been trying to get filled up with their approval. 

That used to be how I lived my life, struggling with codependent behaviors in various relationships.

I walked willingly into a toxic relationship and allowed that toxicity to mess my life up. I ended up on an emotional rollercoaster with a somewhat emotionally absent partner and unknowingly tried to have my inner void filled by this person.

It didn’t work.

Once I realized I was doing this, I began working on increasing my self-love and creating a life outside of my partner – even though that was met with jealousy and control.



Filling Emotional Needs

You see, your partner cannot and should not be the only one filling your emotional needs.

If you are looking solely to them for that, you set both of you up for a roller coaster ride of emotions.

It is not your partner’s job to “make” you feel happy. I know this is easier said than done because we DO want approval! But to spend so much time and effort simply trying to get it from a person is not healthy.

When you do this, you give your power away. You give your partner (or family member, friend, etc.) free reign over your emotional life. 

I remember one time feeling so happy and proud of myself for this one article I wrote that got published on a pretty influential site. I excitedly shared it with my partner at that time.

She read it and took one sentence that she didn’t like and made a negative comment because she took offense to it. I desired her approval, like “Great job, honey! I’m so proud of you!”

I felt very sad about that. After all, I was struggling with codependency and there I was getting lectured for one sentence that did not resonate with her. That sent me on a downward spiral for a while. After all, I don’t like conflict and who doesn’t want their partner to approve of their accomplishments?



Doing Inner Healing Work

I eventually decided enough was enough, so I dug into doing the inner healing work that had long been overdue. I learned how to love myself and stand up for myself.  It’s alright if my partner doesn’t agree with me or see eye to eye on things. I’m still enough, and I still love myself.

It’s a great feeling.

If you are trying to feel good by your partner (or other people’s) approval, it’s like sitting down eating imaginary food to satiate your ravenous appetite. 

No matter how much you eat, you won’t satiate it! You’ll never get full! So if you’re trying to feel good by gaining compliments, attention, approval, etc. from your partner, you’re going to fail. You might get a temporary fix, but that’s it. It’s temporary.

What you really seek is the love and beauty that exists deep inside you. Your authentic beauty!

Not because of anything you have done. Not because you look a certain way, have a certain job, or anything else.

You are worthy because you are alive.

What really helped me to realize this was listening to inspirational audio and taking time to meditate on a regular basis. Check out the self-love guided meditations on YouTube on love. Invest in yourself. Take care of yourself.



Don’t Give Away Your Power

I do my best to never give anyone that place and power again and you don’t have to either.

It is my responsibility to create a life that rocks.

It's my responsibility it be happy regardless of what anyone else does.

It is my responsibility to remember that I am loved and I am enough.

Do I always get it perfect? No. Sometimes I find myself seeking approval or attention, but I catch it early on. I also don’t tailspin into emotional mayhem if I don’t get it.  It’s been a learning process over the last decade or so.

What about you? Do you think you’re addicted to approval from others? 

Photo by Julia Larson