Most of us, myself included, are addicted to the drug of “approval”, “acceptance”, ‘praise” and “popularity” of other people. We are under the illusion that we need this to feel good.
So how do you know if you are an addict in this way or not?
Well one way of knowing is if somebody praises you and you feel great and then somebody criticizes you in some way and you feel rejected and you feel down. This is usually a good test to see if we are living our lives based on the approval, acceptance, praise and popularity of other people or our own. We are with the former, unconsciously allowing other people and society to control us by what we say, feel and do.
When we come to a place where we no longer are living our lives this way, we have reached a place of liberation. I know many of us, myself included, have been brainwashed and conditioned to thinking and believing that this is the way, however the problem with this is that we are never really living for ourselves.
Many people in this world are living for and addicted to success. Success of looking good and being successful financially, materially, career wise etc. We are conditioned by society and the media that success is having the perfect job, the perfect partner, and the perfect life. Real success for me is having the feeling of liberation and freedom of living my life based on my own approval, my own acceptance and my own joy. That really is true success.
We have been trained and conditioned from an early age to live our lives with this approval seeking behaviour. A young child is trained from an early age to seek approval and acceptance from their parents. They have been conditioned to behave in a certain way. The 3-year-old boy is told to stop crying to please and not embarrass his parents. It is the very rare case I have ever heard a parent encourage their child to continue crying and just be themselves. J
If we continue to live our lives this way, being addicted to the approval, acceptance and praise of other people, we will never be able to come to a place of being truly free and ever living fully for ourselves. We will be living in this prison, the illusion of living for the recognition of other people and society.
So how do we begin to move out of this place?
The first step is just having awareness that we are puppets living out our lives in this way.
Just become aware of how you feel when somebody praises or criticizes you…..
How do you feel?
Do you feel happy or unhappy?
Can you see how you are responding ?
Can you see how you are allowing yourself be controlled?
Can you see that you have a choice to respond in a different way?
What are the expectations that other people have of you?
How does the other person respond when you don’t live up to their expectations or their illusions of you?
Do they respond with happiness or unhappiness?
As always I would love to hear any thoughts or feedback you may have….