Too many targets are bullied so frequently and for so long they begin to look for any crumb of validation they can find. They think that somehow, kissing up will win them friends and allies. But it only ends up doing the opposite. It only gets them doubly ridiculed and bullied. Also, it attracts even more users and abusers into their lives.
But what else happens when you consistently seek approval?
1. You lose your freedom and autonomy to be yourself and to do what you want to do. You give away your personal power and become a slave to the thoughts and opinions of others.
2. You lose sight of your goals and aspirations and replace them with goals of being liked, approved of, and favored by others. And the fact is, there’s no guarantee that you will be liked, approved of, or favored because there’s no way you can control the thoughts, opinions, actions, or words of other people. You are the only person in the entire world that you can control, which makes it that much more important that you keep your focus on you because you are your only guarantee. At the end of the day, all you have is you.
3. You stop being creative. You only become a carbon copy of someone else, their style, and their way of thinking and doing things. When you do this, your creativity suffers. It’s much better to be original!
4. You copy others. You give up the ability to think for yourself. Instead of having opinions of your own, you conform to the opinions and beliefs that are most popular. You say what others want to hear and do what others want you to do and how they want you to do it. In short, you allow yourself to be programmed and become a robot!
Understand that not everyone will like you or support you. And not everyone will want the best from you or for you. Some may, in fact, hate you and judge you harshly. They may even derail you from your goals and sabotage your success.
When you seek validation and approval, you only look for permission from others, which will leave you feeling controlled and imprisoned. It’ll also erode your self-esteem. Each time you engage in approval-seeking behavior, you lose a piece of yourself until you completely forget who you are. Not good!
So, how do you break this nasty habit?
1. You start by accepting and loving yourself. All parts of yourself- the good, the bad, and the ugly!
2. Count all the qualities of yourself that you’re proud of. Everyone has great qualities. Find yours, and list them.
Vector illustration of a grovel in business
3. Ditch and Switch. Walk away from the negative people who make you feel bad about yourself. And don’t look back! Rid yourself of the haters, the naysayers, the whiners, complainers, and those with self-defeating attitudes. Replace them with people who love you, who want nothing but your best. Seek people who lift you up and those you feel safe around. Choose people who are happy and who take responsibility for their lives instead of those who bellyache and blame others for their misfortunes.
Understand that no one wants a copy. They want an original!
Realize that once you do these things, you might get a lot of pushback at first. Many people get threatened and angry anytime you make positive changes in your life, and they may give you tons of grief for it.
But understand that they give you a hard time because they were benefiting somehow when you sought approval and they don’t want to lose those benefits. Also, understand that we live in a world full of copies- where most people only conform and seek approval themselves. So, it’s only natural that you get pushback.
Embrace the pushback and keep doing what’s right for you. To hell with what others might think, say, or how they act! Only you can know what’s right for you. No one else knows your inner reality but you. So, trust that and trust yourself. I guarantee that you’ll be surprised at how it’ll change your life for the better. And you’ll only thank yourself for it later!
A fellow blogger once wrote, “If you care too much about what others think, you care less about yourself.”
How right she was!
When you care too much about what other people think, you become a slave to not only opinions but to others as well. The person whose opinions you place too much value on owns you.
Any time you care too much about the thoughts and opinions of others, you’ll bend over backward to prove your worth. You’ll be a yes-person because you won’t have the guts to say no when you really should and when you truly want to say it.
You’ll do things you’d rather not do and agree with things that go against your beliefs and convictions. You’ll sacrifice your time, your resources, and yourself for people who don’t deserve it and let them take you for granted.
You’ll fall for other people’s BS and accept crappy behavior from them to avoid conflict. And they’ll see you as a pushover and an approval-seeker. You’ll be a doormat, and no one will have any respect for you. They’ll only think you’re pathetic!
To put it bluntly, you’ll kiss butt and eat sh** all for the sake of approval. Yuck!
You’ll only attract users, abusers, and losers, who’ll only deplete you of time, energy, and worst of all, self-esteem!
Even worse, your submissiveness will come to be expected after a while, and once you do finally get tired of being walked on and grow a spine, people won’t respect you for it but be offended by it.
‘You see, here’s the thing. If you truly know your value, you don’t have to prove it because you know it’s there. Even better, others see it too because they not only sense that others’ opinions don’t phase you, but they can see it in your demeanor as well.
So, stop caring what bullies and abusers think of you because they don’t deserve to even matter to you.
The more you know, the more bully-proof you become!
Sadly, many targets of bullying seek approval from others, but what’s really bad is that the people they seek approval, validation, and acceptance from are mostly people who absolutely could care less about them. What’s even worse is that many of those targets seek approval from are their bullies- people who have absolutely zero respect for them. Counterproductive, no?
Even more shocking, these people are those whose opinions have absolutely no bearing on the target’s life. Yuck!
If you are a target of bullying and this applies to you, ask yourself these questions aloud:
If these people never gave a hoot about me or my life to begin with, then who are they that I should seek approval from?
Who are they that I must impress?
Who are they that I should pretend to be someone I’m not?
Who are they that I have to lie?
Who are they that I must expend so much of my effort and energy for?
Who are they that I should chase and crawl up behind?
Who are they that I should beg?
Notice those last two questions and the words “chase,” “crawl up behind,” and “beg” will immediately jump out at you and may even make you angry. And you know what? It should, because those three things are basically what you’re doing when you seek approval from bullies, abusers, or anyone who neither respects you nor gives a crap about you.
If, at any time, you must suppress parts yourself to gain validation, approval, or acceptance from another person, especially a bully who will never add value or benefit to your life, you can bet this person doesn’t deserve the honor and privilege of being in your life. They don’t even deserve to be in your presence.
Realize that when you submit to and follow the standards of others for the sake of validation and acceptance, you only lower your own standards.
Stop busting your butt to gain other people’s approval because their approval isn’t needed, and their opinions need not apply. And if anyone ever tries to impose their so-called rules and standards on you, especially if they aren’t your superior, such as a teacher or supervisor, you have not only a right but an obligation to yourself to tell that person to go crawl back under the horse-apple they wormed and wiggled their way from beneath.
Understand that you only give these creeps something they haven’t earned, don’t deserve, and have no business having- you give them your power! You give them your freedom!
You give them control over your life! The above are things they have no right to and that are yours and yours alone, and these precious commodities are those they will only exploit, use, and abuse.
But once you take them back by ceasing to care what they think, your life will only get better. Take it from me. I’m living proof.
Life begins when you stop caring about their opinions and begin living life on your terms. Try it. I guarantee that you’ll thank yourself later!