The Approval Addict’s Dilemma

For many a year she’d lived in a perfection-striving, people-pleasing, guilt-driven abyss, developing an insatiable need to be what others wanted her to be. She put herself second in a couple and 30th in a group of 29 others. Her thoughts, hidden and omitted for fear of rejection.

In turn she established a system; a conscious push in which she would change herself to match the outside world.

The idea of pursuing a blameless and shameless truth then projecting that truth to the world seemed too bold a choice for little old her. So she followed along with what others wanted because… well her opinion at the time was not important. The word ‘no’ became an unconscious enemy, initiative a foreign expression, choice a puzzle she left for others to solve, handing out full dictatorial authority over her life.

Like a hot air balloon she floated the more people affirmed that fragile ego whilst allowing their negative feedback to deflate her morale. Self-esteem ran low as she lurched onto people’s feedback for dear life. The syndrome of “nice” and bottling those feelings in became a rather “comfortable” way to live.

But change and life formed an awakening alliance. Like a jolt, she was roused at a time least expected…. Change (not for all) seems to come during our weakest moments. At a time when we truly recognise life’s impermanence.

And that change required exposure of that truth she’d kept hidden and the curbing of the people pleasing habit that required valuing her approval over others.

This was the approval addicts dillemma…


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