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Irrational Idea 1: Constantly Seeking Approval from Others

Click here for the Introductory Document in this series.

Irrational Idea #1:

“I must be loved or approved by virtually every significant person in my life.”

  • It is an unattainable goal.
  • “You can’t please all the people all the time” No one is loved or approved by all whose love and approval they desire. If one is lucky enough to have this, it won’t last forever.
  • If you won their approval and love, worrying about how much they approve of you and the fear of the loss of their approval would take so much time and energy, you would have little time for anything else.
    • The fear of loss would become a self-fulfilling prophecy; it would cause you to become ingratiating and thus annoy them to the point that you lose their approval.

Rational Idea: “I don’t need everyone to love and approve of me in order to have a productive life.”

  • Recognize the difference between healthy and obsessive need of approval.
  • Desire for approval should be based on practical reasons (such as companionship or vocational advancement).
  • When significant people don’t love or approve of you, accept this. Do not take offence, nor allow it to interfere with your own self-worth.
  • Neither conform for the sake of conforming nor rebel for the sake of rebelling. Live life to the fullest rather than live to please everyone else.
  • The best way to receive love is to sincerely give it.
  • Wins over friends with your confidence, rather than groveling for approval—know that true friendship comes from respect rather than pity

For a happy and emotionally healthy life, contact CrossRoads for counseling at 317-842-8881 if you are in the Central Indiana area. This series was inspired by and sourced from “A Guide to Rational Living” by Albert Ellis and Robert Harper.