How to Stop Seeking Approval From Others

how to let go of the need for approval

Want long-term happiness? Read this article to learn how to stop seeking approval from others and free yourself from the clutches of external validation.

Human beings are social creatures.

Our affinity towards another person creates a need to be wanted and accepted by them. We want to be validated and approved so that our usefulness keeps us included, loved and secured.

Sometimes, we begin to believe that without the constant reassurance of our worth by others, we would be lost and lonely. Any criticism stings and any disapproval makes us anxious. This irrational thinking not only steals away the peace of our mind but also weakens our self-esteem

What is the Need For Approval?

It is a fact that we all need approval.

However, sometimes this need is excessive.

If we are unsure of our strengths and insecure about our worth, we start to feel flawed.

Baring our inner-most ideas looks like a threat.

Not being able to feel confident in our decisions and opinions pushes us to seek approval from others.

Sometimes we ignore our feelings and need to get approval from others.

We try hard to please others and gain their validation. Our inability to stand up for our needs, and say no to others, often leads to frustrations and resentment.

How to Stop Seeking Approval From Others?

Below are some ways that can help you stop seeking approval from others:

1. Stop Taking Things Personally

Not everything is about you; people might not show their warmth towards you; they might reject you, too.

However, it’s good to keep in mind that they might have their problems. Sometimes people are so entangled in their life that it builds resentment and frustration within them. It may be one reason why they may not express their approval towards you.

Then, people who criticise you for your flaws and weaknesses feel insecure and inadvertently project that insecurity. 

Not everybody will love you or express their approval for you. The mechanisms of attraction and repulsion are too complicated and often irrational. It won’t be wrong to accept the truth that there will always be people who would not like you.

As long as you believe in yourself, you don’t need the approval of others to lead a meaningful life. Not taking things personally can significantly help you stop seeking approval from others.

Read: How to Let Go of Grudges and Bitterness

2. Choose Whose Criticism to Take Heart to

Not everyone who criticises you will make the correct assessment of you. A lot of times, negative feedback can come from an unqualified source.

If you want to stop seeking approval from others, ask yourself whether that person knows you properly? Does the critic have enough idea about your skills? Is he emotionally stable? 

We live in stressful times. Many of us are struggling with our own lives. Anxiety and depression are not uncommon. Many such mental health problems make people more prone to negativity, and they, in turn, don’t find enough positivity around them. Often, those closest to them have to hear the most hurtful things. Being aware of the impacts of mental health issues, you can save yourself from unnecessary pain of criticism that might come from your loved ones who themselves are suffering.

3. Look for Specific Criticism

When someone gives you a global judgment, don’t accept it.

One of the ways to stop seeking approval is to look for specific feedback.

Being labelled as a failure or a loser can crush you. It can push you down the rabbit hole of ruminations and anger.

The fact is no one is one thing entirely. We might fail at one or more things but not all the things. So, being labelled as a failure doesn’t make sense at all.

To make the most of negative criticism is to ask your critic the exact reasons for their judgment.

Look for the specific issues where you fell short or performed poorly. Once you have that data, work on improving your performance.

4. Love Yourself

It might sound the most cliched advice, but if you could learn to do it, you might free yourself from a lot of emotional pain and stop seeking approval from others.

Choose to take out ample time for yourself and work on fulfilling your needs.

Let your inner child know that you are there for yourself.

Accepting yourself unconditionally just the way you are, is one the greatest acts of self-love.

Conclusion – How to Stop Seeking Approval From Others

Disapproval might feel terrible.

However, being rejected doesn’t tell you anything about your worth. Letting go of the need for approval will give the remote control of your emotional and mental health in your hand. Learning not to take things personally, loving and taking care of yourself, and looking for specific negative criticism can help you get rid of your need for approval from others. 

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