Are you an "Approval Addict"?
"The drug addict needs the fix.
The alcoholic needs the buzz.
And approval addicts depend exclusively on other people to love them, care for them, affirm the, and give them meaning."
Whatever it's called and however it manifests, approval addiction is the process of looking to people or relationships to provide the love, acceptance and validation that should come from God."
--Do you constantly worry about what others might be thinking of you?
--Do you refrain from doing a lot of things because other people may not approve?
--Do you tend to replay criticisms over and over in your head?
--Do you feel that having a significant other in your life is crucial to your happiness?
--Do you get really anxious when you think an important person in your life might be upset with you?
"People who live their lives hoping that someone else's love and approval will meet their deepest desires will be destined for three things:
1. Mediocrity -- "Approval addicts are destined for a life of mediocrity because they always have to follow the herd"
2. Exhaustion -- "When we find ourselves constantly checking to make sure we've said the right thing, done the right thing, and looked the right way in order to get the affirmation we crave, it can be exhausting."
3. Disappointment and Rejection - "Approval addiction is essentially an act of self-abandonment. Instead of finding your value and worth from your Creator, you have essentially given your heart up for adoption. You have given it away to other for love and approval, making them responsible for your feelings. --- The trouble is, no human being on earth is up to that responsibility."
I've definitely struggled with Approval Addiction. I called it being a "people pleaser". When I realized that I need to be a "God pleaser" instead, it was actually very freeing. I think it also freed up the people in my life that I was putting so much pressure on to give me and my life meaning. Do I still want people to like me? Of course... we all do. But, I've learned that not everyone WILL like me, and that's ok. -- and I love 'em anyway. :-)
John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
*italics are direct quotes from "Empty Promises" by Pete Wilson.