If you’re addicted to the desire to be accepted by others it’s as unhealthy as a drug addiction. Thankfully detoxing isn’t as hard, but you need to stop now.
It’s not doing you any good; you feel bad and your focus isn’t on learning and accepting your value to the world. Obsessing about being accepted by others brings on stress and this is bad for your health – at any age.
The desire for acceptance is a major part of the human condition that begins months after we’re born, and continues throughout our life time. This desire diminishes as we age.In our teen and young adulthood years the desire to be accepted by others can become overpowering.
Peer Pressure and Personal Identity
Peer Pressure is tough. When you’re getting started in high school your hormones are crazy and your emotions are sensitive. You’re dealing with physical and emotional changes.
You want to fit in and be accepted by your peers too. Sometimes wanting certain people or groups to accept you becomes an obsession. This can lead to behaviors that don’t suit your personality.
What’s an Addiction to the Desire to be Accepted?
I’m talking about obsessing about what other people think. Where you never believe you’re good enough; so you’re willing to do anything to fit in. Much of your energy is devoted to people accepting you.
This rarely turns into a win/win situation – someone (more than likely you) will suffer.
How an Addiction to the Desire to be Accepted can Ruin you
I’ll use athletes who use steroids as an example. Athletes use enhancement drugs to excel at their sport for several reasons. The two main reasons are fame and money (types of acceptance).
Why do they want to be famous? They seek fame for different reasons too. One reason why they want to be famous is they believe it will help them overcome issues they have about themselves.
Perhaps you’re seeking this too. Think about self destructive behavior of celebrities – did it work for them?
But what happens with athletes is they spend years training and using enhancement drugs. If they win, they become heroes and gain fame.
More often than not though, they get caught. They lose their title, they’re humiliated, and sometimes have health problems because of the side effects of the enhancement drugs.
Lance Armstrong for Example
He had cancer and won the tour de France 7 times and then he admitted he used enhancement drugs. He quickly went from being America’s hero to being hated by many.
Pat McQuaid, the president of the cycling union, known as U.C.I., said the following in a news conference in Switzerland.
“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling; he deserves to be forgotten in cycling,”
He wanted acceptance (fame) no matter the cost – look at how that worked for him. He went through years of guilt not being himself along with becoming a disgrace.
It’s the same when you become addicted to the desire to be accepted – you:
- Do stuff you don’t want to
- Engage in unhealthy actions
- Lower your self-esteem
- Live with guilt that eats at your life
What’s worse is you’ll find that the outcome you’re hoping for won’t happen, or it’s not what you want anyways.
You’re Completely Normal
Wanting love and friendship is normal. In fact, all healthy people desire love and acceptance; this gets stronger during major life events – romantic relationships, starting at a new job, going to a new school, moving to a new city.
It Doesn’t Have to be Like This
Any addiction (emotional or physical) negatively affects you – it creates jealousy, guilt, anxiety, worry and a whack of other yucky stuff.
You know it’s not right. If you continue you risk trapping yourself in a rut that will be hard to get out of. This is why you shouldn’t try to be someone else and be yourself.
Personal Development is Another Human Condition
As humans we’re meant to actively learn about and improve ourselves to become better. We develop our talents, improve our awareness and identity. Life is always changing (dynamic) so we have to grow with it.
We strive to enhance our quality of life and endeavor to realize our aspirations and dreams.
When you’re addicted to being accepted you’re NOT doing that. Self development, self-discovery, self improvement all contain one key word – Self.
When you worry about others accepting you tend to change your personality for each person or group. When you do this you’re not developing, discovering or improving yourself.
What Might Help is…
If you suffer from an addiction to the desire to be accepted, you need encouragement and support to be yourself; and connect with people who will accept you.
You can do this yourself without waiting for someone to give you encouragement. Start by being more patient and supportive of yourself.
How About This?
If you’re addicted to the desire to be accepted, is it possible to give it up and replace it with something positive like helping others? How do you feel it about becoming a people builder? Build others up and never tear them down.
Rather than tell you how helping others will bless your life I have a challenge for you.
Challenge: For one week I challenge you to always be on the lookout for people who need help; and then help them whatever way you can. It doesn’t have to be major.
It can be a smile, help them carry something, listen to a problem, mow the grass, shovel snow, lend them a book, help them study, answer questions on forums, compliment them…
After the week is up, let us know how it went in the comments; or let me know by sending me a message.