You may start by thinking that seeking approval is a desire more than a necessity. If approval has become a ‘need’ rather than a ‘want’, then you really have to work on it a lot. We all enjoy applause, compliments and praise, it feels good. Who would want to give it up? Well, there is no need for it. Approval in itself is not unhealthy. It turns into a trouble only when it turns from a want to a need.
If you want the approval, you are simply happy to have the endorsement of other people. But, if you need it, you are going to face trouble if you don’t get it. That’s when self-destructive forces move in. Similarly, when approval seeking becomes a need, you give up all a lot of yourself to the ‘outside person’, whose approval you must have. If they disapprove, you are unable to move forward (may be in some little way also). You feel good inside only if they decide to administer some praise to you. In such a case, you have chosen to wear your self-worth on your sleeve for someone to rub or not rub as they see fit.
The need for approval of another person is bad enough, but the real trouble comes with the need for the approval of everyone for every act. If you carry around such a need, then you are bound for a great deal of frustration in your life. Moreover, you will be incorporating a non-person self-image that will result in a kind of self-rejection.
If you are to gain personal fulfillment, the need for approval must go from your life. Such need is a psychological dead end, with absolutely no benefits accruing to you. When approval seeking is a need, the possibilities for truth are all but wiped away. If you must be approved, lauded and you send out those kinds of signals, then no one can deal with you straight. Nor can you state with confidence what it is that you think and feel at any present moment of your life. Your self is just sacrificed to the opinions and approvals of others.
It is easier to adopt behavior that will bring approval. But when you take this easy way, you’re making others opinions of you more important than your own self-assessments. It’s a vicious trap – and a difficult one to escape in our society.