You might find your life directed by the need for approval rather than by your own inner values, needs, and desires. While it is true that everyone really does need approval and a sense of community, a need for approval that is out of balance can cause you to live your life doing what will make others like you. Jan regularly put others' needs ahead of her own. Her clients always came first in her sales job. Her husband's needs came first at home. She dutifully fulfilled her family's demands that she take care of her parents. Soon it became clear that she had lost a sense of who she was; she was disconnected from her own wants, needs, values, and desires. When a person's efforts to gain approval from others gets this far out of balance, a depression predictably results.
Unfortunately, living a life driven by the need for approval often doesn't give you the fulfillment you so fervently hope for. Instead, you end up like a doormat, constantly feeling taken advantage of because of your inability to set limits. You lose the respect of others rather than winning their approval.
You may find yourself angry at the very people whose needs you are catering to. This anger creates a feeling of conflict within you. And the more conflicted you feel, the more afraid you become of expressing your real self. As a result, you may drive your feelings deeper underground, becoming more and more disconnected from who you really are -- straying farther and farther from the life you're meant to lead.
You might find your life directed by the need for approval rather
than by your own inner values, needs, and desires. While it is true
that everyone really does need approval and a sense of community, a
need for approval that is out of... More