Why do we look for approval?

It is human nature to want to feel loved and secure. Feeling that way occurs when you have a strong sense of belonging – to your family, your tribe, your community, your social supports, friends, etc.

You feel safe and secure when you sense that you belong and are accepted by those around you. When you feel you don’t belong, when you feel excluded or in danger of being excluded, you feel terrified of dying, of being left alone to fend for yourself. This terror relates to tribal days when you did need to band together for survival, to hunt the wild animals that could attack anyone left on their own.

In today’s world it is not so dangerous to be on your own, but loneliness, the sense of isolation, rejection, of not being enough – all erodes your happiness and eventually your health. Studies have shown that those who are lonely and isolated suffer higher rates of chronic illness and shorter lifespans. It is almost like the will to live reduces, because it is so painful to live in isolation and darkness that comes when your thoughts are negative and self-loathing.

It is hard to love and accept yourself when you feel rejected by others. The issue may not be about you. It may be something specific to the group rejecting you, but it still feels bad to be rejected. This is why people will do bad things in a group. They will be immoral and do devilish things that they would not do on their own. They go along with the crowd, they don’t stand up and say “No, I don’t want to hurt that person or break that law. It is immoral and I won’t do it”.

It takes great strength to stand up in such a situation and say no. It risks being ostracised, losing your standing in the group, being rejected and hated. Few people have the courage to do so. Many go along with the crowd and silently regret it for the rest of their lives. This feeds self-disgust and loathing.

Sometimes this gets high enough that a person will leave the group on their own choice, as to stay feels unconscionable. But few people make that choice. Most stay and self-medicate through addiction to numb the painful thoughts and feelings. Others will project the self-hatred out onto their enemy, their chosen other, and this further fuels the conflict occurring.

All of this occurs because each person wants to feel that they belong, that they are accepted, and that they are an acceptable human being. Many of us doubt our worthiness, our goodness, we feel not enough. This comes from childhood conditioning, when our parents weren’t able to be there for us all the time we needed them, and occasionally they looked at us with frustration and tiredness. They gave us looks of desperation and we sensed that they wished we didn’t exist or that we were different to how we were.

This was just their tiredness and stress. It wasn’t really about us. It was about them and their circumstances, but we take those messages to heart and feel that we are somehow unacceptable.

No parent means to do that to their child. They love you and want what is best for you, but they did not have the energy reserves or capability to be always loving and positive in their interactions with us. No one could. It is very demanding being a parent. There are no times off. No vacations from the responsibility for that child and its life.

Most parents do their best to meet the child’s needs. Some do not. Some in their exhaustion and pain will blame the child for their adult problems. Some may even say it to their child, saying “If it wasn’t for you I could have….. If it wasn’t for you I would have….You ruined my life, etc, etc”. Some parents can be very cruel even saying that they wish the child had not been born.

All of this negativity gets taken to heart by the child, who then has such inner turmoil and emotional pain that they may rebel, turn away from the parents and look for love and belonging elsewhere. This is what leads to gang membership. The person finds a group where they are accepted and approved of. They will do whatever they need to, in order to join and stay apart of their new family.

Thankfully most of us just join a sporting club or community activity or friends group where we feel held and safe and accepted.

All of us try to find somewhere, where we will be accepted and gain a sense of approval, a feeling that we are good enough, we do belong, and we are okay.

Some will try desperately to please their parents, bending over backwards doing whatever they ask, in a desperate plea for acceptance and belonging. Some parents will give that to their children and some will continue to manipulate the child well into adulthood in order to get what they want.

All of this could be avoided or reduced if there was more support for parents when they have their children. If parents with newborns were more supported, whether that be by family, friends, community or government services, it would make it easier for them to be more positive in their interactions with their children.

Most parents unfortunately are exhausted, over tired, fatigued and living on adrenaline, coffee or sugar to get by. It is not a healthy way to be, and it is inevitable that problems will occur. It is hard enough coping with children as a couple. It is even harder as a single parent.

Parents need support so that they can enjoy their time with their children more, so that they can have a more balanced life, with time for them to relax, do a hobby, and have some fun. Without this balance the parents will be in deficit and the kids will feel that and absorb it, feeling like there is something wrong with them, when there isn’t.

The above patterning is the reason for so many people desperately seeking approval. There are solutions at the societal level as discussed, but there are also solutions at the individual level.

We need to recognise any self-lacking thoughts and change them to more positive, self-affirming thoughts. We need to feel our emotional pain from past interactions and be loving and supportive of our self.

Doing inner child work is powerful, reclaiming those younger parts of us that split off, that hid or became tough to survive. We need to welcome those younger selves back into our hearts, give them the love that they missed out on, and welcome them home to our hearts, to know that they are okay and they belong with us.

When we integrate these disowned parts within us, we will no longer feel rejected by the world so much. We can do inner visualisations and Family Constellations with our parents to heal that split and to connect in with their hearts, their goodness, and their love for us.

There are many ways to do this, so that we feel more complete, more accepted and have a stronger sense of belonging, knowing we are okay, we are enough and all is okay as it is.

When we can heal our pain from our pasts and come to a place of self-acceptance and acceptance of our life how it was, is, and will be, then and only then will we drop the need for approval, as we know that we are okay.

Approval then becomes something that is nice, but not needed. We can be our authentic, creative self, showing our heart’s true desires to the world, following our heart’s longings without fear of ridicule or rejection, knowing that if it does occur it won’t cripple us, as we know we are okay.

Criticism can then be seen as another person’s opinion, which is about them, it is not about us. Any barbed spears they throw simply bounce off as there is no wound for them to land in.

When we love and accept our self, we go forth into the world and shine our light confidently, lovingly and securely, knowing we are good enough and all beings are. This is what we hope for all beings, to reach this place of love and acceptance, of self-approval. When that manifests we will have a much more peaceful time on Earth. Blessed BE, Amen.

By Jodi-Anne (24 July 2018).

  • Further free guidance on healing techniques and self love are available on the Life Insights and Healing from child abuse pages of this website.
  • If you found this blog useful you may wish to consider purchasing a copy of Jodi-Anne’s book ‘Advice from a higher Source’ which contains 85 more answers to questions about life. The paperback book or ebook can be purchased online at – http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/JMS2011. (Once you have clicked into view the description of the book, go to the top of the page and choose the flag symbol for your country, this will show you the price in your currency and enable you to purchase it in that currency)
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s