Is it wrong if I crave admiration by being nice?

Karen R Koenig

Sure, the downside of being action central at work is exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed, and boosting your spirits with Twinkies. But, oh, the upside - everyone telling you what a marvelous, totally amazing person you are because of all you do. The adoration and the rush from all that praise could become downright addictive. I’m serious. Once we get used to being one-dimensionally valued for being overly nice, it’s hard to give up all the adoration that accompanies martyrdom. In fact, the need for that good feeling may underlie much of your altruism and self-sacrifice. Rather than your big heart, it may be your desperate yearning for admiration that makes you such a shining star.

Again, if you were a parentified child growing up, you might have kept at it because of the attention you received for getting straight A’s in school, taking care of a litter of siblings, and keeping the house in tiptop shape because your parents needed your help. You might have wanted to slack off and even may have tried to but found you missed the praise and compliments. There’s nothing wrong with what you did then - you did what you had to do to obtain parental approval and love - but there’s something wrong if you can’t give up the need for admiration now when overdoing is pushing you over the edge.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.