Breaking the Approval Seeking Habit

Who are the ones who you need approval from? Do you really need their approval, or do you just want it? Are they even worth your efforts?

These are questions I’ve been asking myself lately.

I’ve been spying on my husband’s friends lately on a open chat. Everything is very appropriate and lighthearted. To think that I thought these were people who might care about me, who might become family, is ridiculous. They’re not those people. They’ll never be those people. Their friendships are shallow, and they prefer it to be that way. I have only ever wanted close friends. But I don’t think I’ve ever really had any real ones.

This, I think, is the point where I finish growing up. When I realize that people just don’t think about me. No one ever has, very much, and no one ever really will. Except for maybe my husband, and maybe people I create, though the likelihood of having a family is nil. All the warmth and energy I put towards my husband’s friends accounted for nothing, besides making them look at me funny. Though they were happy to take advantage of my overt friendship. I have learned; never expend energy on people who aren’t willing to do it for you.

It’s a cold world, isn’t it? I didn’t want to believe it. I let fiction trick me into thinking things could be better.

I resolved, for many years, to fix myself. To change myself. To do it on my own with no help, because no help comes without a price. But I let myself be fooled into thinking maybe I could derive satisfaction from other people. That other people could approve of me. Not even my father and his ex-wife approved of me. What made me think others ever would?

My husband’s friends. My father and stepmother. People not worthy of beating myself up over. I needed their approval. I am working to break the need for their approval.

I can still fix myself. I can change myself. But I can’t do it while hanging on the every word and gesture people make towards me.

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