S:0279 Personal Needs: The Need For Approval

(An unmet Need causes us to feel empty, incomplete or less than whole. Fulfilling a Need gives us freedom to be ourselves.)


The Need for Approval is pretty common. Apparently most of us did not get enough approval when we were growing up. As adults we find that in order for us to feel our best we have to be approved by others. (Not you of course, this is about people you know!)

This need for approval can have many subtle and not-so-subtle effects. For instance, people have been known to leave perfectly good jobs — good pay, working conditions, etc. — simple because they did not get the overt expressions of approval they needed. Others have created careers where a high approval quotient was built in — public speakers have audiences, “popular” teachers have students.

The problem with having this need is that you are frequently not in charge of your actions, the need is. Why? Because an unmet need is painful and leaves you feeling less than whole. Getting the need met provides temporary relief. Unmet the need can have you feeling angry, irritable, unloved. When met the need for approval can leave you feeling confident and content.

To be free of this need first recognize it and acknowledge it. If you continue to deny it, it will stay in control. Next get the need met in healthy ways — people who love you will help. Finally let a little time pass. Soon you will notice that you are no longer “on the hunt” for approval and will stop doing the things that in the past have generated it.


Copyright 2001 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.