Life Management: Approval Addiction

A large number of people do things for others’ approval. They feel good when others give affirmation to what they do or about their appearance. They are out to please others. They think they are good or appear nice or are successful only if others say so.

Their success criteria is that others should put a stamp on their succes. Without it they feel like a failure. If others do not approve of them, they feel that they are not up to it. They feel bad about themselves. They feel inferior.

So such people are out to do things that look good in the eyes of others even if to self many of those things may look outright incorrect or inappropriate or not self-pleasing. They even do those things that they do not want to do at all.

These approval addicts cannot appreciate their own selves even if they are sure that what they did or how they appeared was worthy of being appreciated or praised. Even after achieving what they could call as their success in their own eyes or in their own assessment they constantly keep eliciting the approvals from others. If they don’t receive recognition of their succes from others they start believing they are losers.

This behavior may be an outcome of doubts about the self, low self-worth, inferiority complex, insecurity, loneliness etc. It also comes because of a thinking that if others start saying that I am successful and more is the number of people saying so, I get brought into limelight. So I keep pleasing more and more people whose approval will benefit me in putting me on the pedestal.

All of such behavior will never allow you to become what you really are or what you are really capable of becoming one. You will stop doing things that are important to you. You will never please yourself. You will remain dejected and downcast most part of your life.

A day will come when looking backwards you may feel as if you got exploited by others all these years. That feeing would be terrible. It will hurt your conscience. The hollowness of not having achieved will haunt you. And by that time it will be too late.

If you wish to correct this tendency, do it now. Start today. There is no need to do things to seek others’ approval. Improve your capabilities and do things that you think are right even if those may or may not attract others’ affirmation or praise. This is the only way to stop getting into approval addiction. Stop your approval addiction now as it is a psychological killer.


About Shyam Bhatawdekar

35 years’ industrial/business experience as a top executive & 35 years’ parallel academic/consultancy experience in general management, behavioral sciences & technology. Areas: general management, production, human resources, industrial engineering, systems, MIS, computers, corporate planning, audit, sales/marketing. Penchant for information technology & behavioral sciences; integrated with conventional technology makes him unique thought leader. Conversant with academic theories & realities of business, fuses the two into practical approaches. Was associated with Tata Motors, Hindustan Motors, Hindustan Aeronautics & ThyssenKrupp; held top positions as highflier executive. Presently Chairman & Managing Director, Prodcons Group associating with 250 organizations; providing management & I T consultations & conducting seminars/workshops. Been a faculty for IIM’s, TMTC, Railway & HAL Staff Colleges, Symbiosis. Speaker with 35000 hours’ experience benefitting more than 100,000 people. Published 35 articles in Economic Times, Indian Management & Computers Today. Authored 27 books. Invited as key speaker in seminars by AIMA, HRD Network, NIPM, QCFI, CSI, NPC. Widely traveled. Education: Engineering & Management.
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