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THE SEARCH FOR APPROVAL

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


So widespread is this search for approval that it draws little notice. It is a trait that typically has its roots in both real wants and neurotic wants. (Adult neurotic wants = adult wants caused by leftover feelings from childhood.) Most of us really do want to be appreciated and liked. Therefore, some bending of ourselves to others' wishes is to be expected from all of us. Yet, difficulty arises because one of our childhood strategies was to try to get the most from our parenting figures. The strategy caused us to twist ourselves in any way possible that would give us their approval, which most of us, as children, mistook for love. This childhood bending has caused most of us to be out of touch with some of our real wants. We often deny our real wants.


Millions of mothers are as sexist about childrearing as their husbands are sexist about job roles.

Should Exam. For a few minutes list all the "shoulds" you can think of that you have for both others and yourself. Do this now before reading further ......... The fewer you can find, the happier you are. Had you ever considered that your use of the word should is an attempt to lay your own (or your parents') trip on others? Be on the lookout for the word should. For it usually shows that one is passing on automatically some unexamined ideas.* Go back over your list. Can you drop a few of them? Each one of them represents a search for parental approval without complete personal authenticity. (It is this author's goal never to feel as if another person should do something or not.) Every should you have for others is an ounce of unhappiness for you, also a barrier between yourself and others.


Trying for others' approval is an unhappy venture in adulthood, for it usually boomerangs. I suggest a personal goal of dropping your needs for others' approval. The process of achieving that goal is typically long, yet definitely worth the resulting yield of happiness dividends.

Next Excerpt  

More Excerpts This Chapter
   ARE 97% OF FAMILIES NEUROTIC?
   TRAUMATIZING CHILDREN - 97% OF THEM?
   ARE WE REALLY HUMANE?
   EFFECTIVE PARENTING
   OUR CURRENT FAMILIES BRING OUT OUR SKEWNESS
   MOTHERS CAN BE SEXIST TOO
   MANY MEN STILL ABDICATE THEIR PARENTING ROLES
   WORKING MOMS - ARE THEIR KIDS OK?
   LATCHKEY CHILDREN DON'T DO AS WELL
   THE SEARCH FOR APPROVAL
   THE ELDERLY


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