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  1. #1
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    Default Having trouble with the whole "Approval Seeking" thing; Any Suggestions?

    O.K. So, I'm an INFP, and my whole life I've had the built-in approval seeking mechanic in my personality. Meaning, if I pay close attention to my interactions with other people, I can always discern my communication being motivated by the desire to win over the other person. You know, to get their approval and have them smiling back at me.

    But, I hate it. I mean, I love being sensitive to others, caring about them, and "healing" them. But there's a point at which it must stop, and your own personality must begin. Taken to the extreme and I sometimes get too afraid to voice my own opinion or argue with others if I think they'll be upset with me.

    Does anyone know how to become more independently confident, more assertive, and more self-approving?

  2. #2
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    First you must become independent. If you constantly seek the pleasure of knowing you are appreciated then you can't do this. This is how I fixed the issue:

    First I realize that people appreciate what I do. Even if they don't say it, they are thankful if I do a good thing for them. Even if it nags me, I ignore it and realize I have benefited them as a person.

    As for being afraid of speaking up, I also know this too well. I gave it a lot of thought, and experimented with speaking my opinion. People seem to like me a lot better as a person when I "put up a fight." If someone doesn't approve then I'll say something around the lines of "Well everyone has a right to their own opinion, and I respect yours." If I have a problem with something, I simply speak up and voice why I think it's a problem. It opens people's eyes more to problems they didn't see and it makes me feel better.

    Independently confidant. As in... Not needing the approval of others in your life? I think I answered that above. You must be an individual, if you have no one around you you will do what you want to do. Take some of that and apply it to the real world, let yourself live a little. After doing what you please (with of course applied reasoning to your decision) then see what people say. This is what EVERYONE does you realize, right? They all do as they please with some applied reasoning to make it rational and have a sense of decency.

    More assertion... It helps a lot. I'm sure you know how you only pay attention to the positive, and push the negative back in your psyche? Well later on that negativity comes out all at once, and makes you feel like everything is wrong with you. You will remember things that bothered you from a long time ago that are meaningless now, but will feel bad about it. Everything negative will come at you. Your lesson is to learn to avoid these outbursts of negativity and deal with the negativity first hand.

    So say you saw a friend doing drugs, you are opposed to drugs and your friend has never done them. What would you normally do? You would retreat and be thinking "Wow why is he doing drugs?" You would feel bad, yet you would bottle it up inside. Instead of doing this, confront the person. "Why are you doing drugs? You realize one of the reasons we are friends is because you stay clean all the time right?" Let that negativity out, you will feel a lot better. But of course do it, as I said before, with applied reasoning and a sense of decency to your decisions.

    If you do these things you will feel better a lot, you won't get in those negative moods. From this you will gain more self approval.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  3. #3
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Realize that you can't please everyone.
    Being courteous and nice also doesnt mean that you have to neglect yourself. Most people appreciate people with a spine. If you are yourself, and you happen to be a nice, decent person, than MOST people will generally like you.

  4. #4
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Also keep in mind from what I said you can't let EVERYTHING out of your psyche. Some things you really just have to keep inside yourself.

    As for the approval seeking, you will still do this. I still do, it's healthy for us. But when they don't respond then you tell yourself that they appreciate it and they just didn't say it. A good lesson to learn is to try to avoid doing this as much, but still doing it is ok.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  5. #5
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    find those whose opinions REALLY matter and worry about what they think.

    Learn to tell the rest to fuck off. When you feel the internal discomfort that comes from feeling like you have not pleased some other person fall back on your Ni and think about being true to your self. Look into your soul and detrmine what works for you.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Here's the old balance principle again.

    Independence is not counter-dependence. Blowing stuff off is the flip side of allowing everything to count.

    You want to be moving towards something, not away from something else
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  7. #7
    Senior Member niki's Avatar
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    I just want to say that this thread is probably one of very helpful threads i've ever found here. although still only some posts (not many), I can relate so much with the OP, and get lots of great advices from everybody here. indeed, i also need to fix this area of my life, otherwise, life will just pass me by...like that. and i'll be more depressed and feel hopeless & useless.
    thank you.

  8. #8
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    You can not believe how much I struggled with this, then I just let go. I realised I was making myself bitterly unhappy, because I wasn't being myself, and I have made huge personal sacrifices, to no avail. It didn't please any one else, in fact I was taken for granted.
    It helps that I have faced one or two personal fears, and I know my world will not shatter, but oddly enough people tend to like you more, if you are less worried about pleasing them. The more yourself you are, the more people like you.
    Maybe take up a hobby, just for yourself. Having something that's all yours and gives you confidence does wonders.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    Member Fairy...'s Avatar
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    Remember that you DON'T get your self worth from what others think about you. YOU HAVE IT ALREADY.
    Also I think people with this problem are often perfectionists. Overcoming perfectionism may be a step in the right direction.

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