Life

Overcoming the need to please

Try these four tips to enhance your self-worth and reduce your need to seek approval from others.

As social beings, many of us crave love and belonging. We are also people pleasers and approval seekers who often feel the need to be liked. In turn, this behaviour can lead to seeking self-worth through the approval of others.

“The need to feel ‘okay,’ liked or approved-of is rooted in the messages a person received about their inherent worthiness and belonging while growing up,” says clinical psychologist Erika Martinez. “Somewhere along the way, people with contingent self-worth learned that their worth came from others’ approval, not from within themselves.”

Constantly seeking the approval of others can be dangerous to your mental health. It can result in declining new opportunities, being too nervous or anxious, and showing signs of avoidance like withdrawal and giving up easily. Follow these four steps to enhance your self-worth and reduce the need to please:

Become aware of unhealthy approval-seeking behaviours

  1. Practice self-love
  2. Build a positive support network
  3. Take a break from social media

Imagine how much time and energy we lose every time we weaken our spirits in an effort to be liked. Through self-love, we can learn to understand that even if people don’t like us, it is not a reflection of our value as a person. “As you become more capable of providing yourself with the approval you seek, your need for external validation will start to dissipate, leaving you stronger and more confident,” says Rachel S. Heslin, author of Navigating Life: 8 Different Strategies to Guide your Way.

Source: Psychology Today

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