No one wants to be alone or unloved or without friends or called a loser. Fear of rejection is a powerful motivator. It hits all ages – children/youth/adults. We all give into peer pressure in some way to avoid being rejected. We all want to fit in.
Like most people my fear of rejection grew out of the wanting to be loved and accepted. Fear motivated me to do things I knew were wrong. I compromised standards. I hurt people who loved me. I avoided conflicts and dealing with tough issues.
3 signs you may be an approval addict
1. You make compromises for acceptance.
If you find yourself compromising your values, morals, integrity, dreams, etc. for acceptance you may be an approval addict. Compromise can control us – become a way of life – because we’re desperate for approval. Like other addictions compromise can lead to self-hatred, bitterness, resentment or anger.
2. You are controlled by what others think.
When we’re afraid of what others will think of us we settle for less, we do what others want rather than what God wants or what we want and we give up the right thing. Our life is controlled by what others think of us.
The approval addicts desire for approval drives them to spend hours and money on their appearance, clothes, house, car, etc. They say to themselves:
- If I buy the right house or car… wear the right clothes… look the right way… If I do what they want me to do – even if it means a compromise… will they like me – accept me – approve of me – love me?
- If I join this club – help with this event – do these things… If I say this, do that, go there, act this way – if I’m funny or make fun of myself… will they like me – accept me – approve of me – love me?
When we’re starved for acceptance and approval we get needy and clingy. People don’t like being around needy and clingy people. The very thing we want we don’t get and as a result we get more clingy and needy and controlling.
3. You are extremely cautious in relationships.
This caution shows up in our relationships in a few ways:
- We don’t deal with problems, hurt, anger, areas of concern or conflict.
- We don’t confront others and we deny problems exist (the pink elephant lives!)
- We don’t tell others how we really feel. Instead we give in and with each compromise we grow angry and resentful.
In relationships, approval addicts keep others from getting too close. They keep them at arms distance because they’ve been rejected before and they don’t want to be rejected again.
Fear always puts up walls to keep others out. As a result the approval addict builds their own dungeon/prison. In this prison anger and resentment thrives. Their heart gets hardened. They can’t give or receive love.
Which of these 3 signs of being an approval addict are you most guilty of?