Approval Addiction

I recently tweeted this thought on appreciation, “Appreciation, applause, encouragement, pats on the back and that a boys are a two way street; they not only need to be given but also received!Have you ever tried to compliment a person to only have it rejected and thrown back at you or thrown down? For example, “I like your hair!” And they reply with something like, “Oh you are only saying that to be nice, it looks stupid!” And when you get that kind of response it makes you not want to give any praise. It’s like when someone demands appreciation, then you really don’t want to give it.

I went through an emotionally intense program called FOCUS, really a boot camp for your emotions I would say. And in that program they talked about giving and receiving appreciation and they challenged us to ask ourselves what is in us that makes us feel unappreciated, (okay, yes maybe you are really are unappreciated and that is unfortunate, but what if not? Who’s responsible for me feeling good about myself, my job, my life … me or others?) And in the program they also asked us to check our hearts on WHY we were doing something, and WHO we were doing it for - our motive.

I have noticed over the years that some people really need (key word – need) a lot of appreciation, and often you will hear these people say, “I feel so unappreciated!” And many times with these people you can't give them enough “appreciation” to make them feel appreciated. It’s the whole skinny beautiful girl who thinks she’s fat and ugly and there is nothing you can say to her to make her feel skinny and beautiful. Then on the other hand there are people who don’t really need much appreciation shown to them because they do what they do for the love of doing it, or they do it for themselves or they do it for God and therein lies all the appreciation they need. I don't think it's wrong to WANT appreciation, I think we all do on some level, but to NEED it to feel appreciated or good about ourselves is really “Approval Addiction,” and it’s very unhealthy and will lead to an very unhappy life.

Psychologist and Counselor, Wayne McKamie says, “Timmy, there is such a thing as approval addiction. You are right on when discussing the bondage of needing everyone to accept, appreciate, or approve of us. The freedom that comes from letting go and self acceptance through knowing who God made us to be is awesome.”

Psychologist and Counselor, Pamela McKamie said, “Life is a journey and a learning experience. This self appreciation is within and it is something we all can work on. When we allow God to fill us up with his grace we can open up to change instead of being stuck. We can look to him to find this instead of others.”

Disclaimer: This blog entry is in no way trying to discredit the importance of giving people praise or showing appreciation, duh! Obviously this is something we ALL should do to and for those we love, and for those with whom we work. And honestly to see this blog in that light would tell me that you may struggle with “Approval Addiction”. And also this blog entry is not directed and any ONE person, but it is something that has been stirring in my heart ever since I attended FOCUS back in January of this year and felt it to be something many of us struggle with on some level.