Do You Have Approval Addiction?
Receiving validation from others feels great, but it isn’t good for your relationships or well-being, especially not your marriage.
According to NIH, “Approval addicts generally suffer from a lack of self-esteem. We often forfeit responsibility for our lives, defining our worth principally by what others think of us.”
It can be challenging for a person struggling with low self-esteem and self-worth to be motivated from within because of never feeling good enough or measuring up, which causes them to suffer from approval addiction.
It’s detrimental to a relationship when someone needs constant emotional reassurance and approval from their spouse. Leaning on one’s spouse for emotional reinforcement severely affects the marriage.
Being married to an insecure, needy person can cause many marital problems and end up suffocating the relationship.
Here are some ways to find out if you suffer from approval addiction.
You Have An Unhealthy Need for People to Take Interest in You
You’re obsessed with social media or seek situations for people to notice you and gain their attention. Imagine how hard it can be in a marriage when one spouse is obsessed with being noticed and, therefore, constantly seeks the attention of others to feel valuable, worthy, or attractive.
You Want People to Reassure You ALL the Time
Here’s how it looks in a relationship: You constantly ask your partner if they’re okay with you – if they’re mad, disappointed, or upset. This needy, insecure behavior is not only found in marriage but among friends and even family.
There’s nothing unhealthy or wrong with seeking reassurance every so often. But if we only feel secure emotionally when we seek and receive comforting reassurance from others, it might be a sign of approval or validation addiction.
You Like to Talk About Your Awesomeness
People who lack confidence and struggle with low self-esteem have an unhealthy need to mention all the great things they’ve done because doing “great things” proves how great they are and that you should like them; this behavior makes them feel worthy of your attention.
Is there anything wrong with sharing proud accomplishments? Not at all. But it’s unhealthy when a person does so in an attempt to make up for something they feel is lacking within.
If you think more about money than the value you provide through serving the world, it might be a warning sign of approval-seeking that is boarding on an addiction. Is there anything wrong with money? No. We all need it to survive, provide for our families, and make the world a better place – but it isn’t the only important thing.
Another potential sign of insecurity is dropping names of people you’ve worked with or important people you’ve met. But here’s the deal: you’re special and important just the way you are! You’re enough! And you never need to try to make yourself look better or build yourself up by mentioning the company you keep.
You Tend to Befriend People Who are Rich, Important, or Famous
Who are your friends? Are they really your friends or people you associate with to make you feel important and look good? People aren’t trophies. You should choose friends based on mutual standards and beliefs instead of how much money they have and what they can offer you.
Your Loyalty and Beliefs Shift Depending on Who You’re With
You should be authentic no matter who you’re with; you shouldn’t try to over-please people. Your beliefs, thoughts, and opinions matter! It doesn’t matter if people disagree with you! And if you don’t have anything to say on the matter, that’s okay too! Never be forced to change who you are to conform, fit in, or belong.
You Need to Control Social Situations
Do you feel you need to be in control when networking, building relationships, or making friends?
If the only way you can feel comfortable is to be in control, you might have an issue with approval addiction. When self-esteem is low, letting other people control social situations is scary. However, allowing people to take charge and lead is a sign of self-confidence and that you’re secure in yourself and your opinions and ideas.
You Fuel a Victim Identity
If you blame others for mistakes, things that go wrong, or being held back in life, you’re giving away your power and settling for being a victim instead.
Do you blame your spouse? Do you believe your marriage problems are because of them? Are they holding you back and getting in the way of your dreams? Are they always the problem?
One way to transition out of this victim mentality is to acknowledge that you’re in charge of your life and have the power to start changing things, beginning with yourself.
Being Rejected Spins You Out of Control
Rejection hurts. No one likes it. But it isn’t the end of the world unless you have approval addiction.
For someone with approval addiction, rejection is a crushing experience because you’re giving the other person everything you think they want, expect, or need. If that sounds like you, consider this: you’re not being true to yourself – the persona you’re projecting isn’t you – so they’re not really rejecting you, they’re rejecting the “fake” you, so it isn’t really rejection.
If you’re doing something you don’t want to do and are striving to be someone you’re not just to be accepted by a person, organization, or group of people, you might be a people pleaser who struggles with an unhealthy need for approval.
A way to turn things around and start unlocking your best life is to figure out who you really are and what kind of person you want to become by identifying your values, setting your standards and boundaries, deciding what you stand for and what you stand against, and then chase your dreams and goals based on who you are and what you want, and not to please others.