How to Stop Needing Approval

Most people want others to like them and strive to have this goal realized. Those who become people-pleasers have low self-esteem and don’t recognize better ways to achieve their aim of attracting others admiration and respect. This article explains why people-pleasing doesn’t work and suggests ways to boost confidence and gain security and respect.

Do you need people to like you? If so, you may try to gain their approval to your detriment. When you live your life to please others, there’s not much time left to fulfill your needs. You don’t want to face rejection, so what can you do? Here’s how to stop people-pleasing and still feel good about yourself, plus gain respect.


Why being a people-pleaser doesn’t work

The first step to changing the idea you need other’s approval is to recognize being a people-pleaser doesn’t work. It doesn’t meet your aim. You want people to hold you in high esteem, not find you agreeable because you do as they wish. Indeed, the notion behaving in ways others find pleasing will make them like you is a misconception.

People may be happy if you run their errands or do their bidding in other ways, but your compliance won’t make them respect you. If they like you, it’s because of your personality and has nothing to do with your amenability.


Invest generously in causes you believe in

Not striving to gain approval doesn’t mean you can’t be generous. It means only giving your time, energy, and material resources to causes in which you believe. Stick to such advice, and you will feel great when you give rather than needing recompense in the form of validation.

You might, for instance, give to a charity you want to help or spend time with an elderly relative, not because you want anything in return, but because you enjoy doing so. Giving as a gift rather than in the form of a trade-off will boost your well-being and confidence. As a result, you won’t need approval since you already feel good about yourself.


Surround yourself with people you like

Until now, you have tried to be liked. It’s time to turn your efforts around and seek likable people. Find your tribe, those people with whom you share values and admire. The need to people-please stems from fear of rejection. Once you have a robust social network, full of people with similar values to you, you’ll be secure.

Now that you know seeking approval can’t give you what you want, why not boost your morale in other ways? Give freely, but only to people or causes in line with your values. Plus, do so out of joy, not with recompense in mind. Your reward will be a sense of worth beyond that which you could gain from people-pleasing. Also, gather likable people around you and make them your tribe. You’ll discover you need not strive to be cherished after all.