Thomas Starr King Middle School,
Why We Strive For Approval From Others
Nobody wants to be judged for what they do, look like, enjoy. Some people may not care, but sometimes people let others control their decisions because they are afraid of what those other people will think of them. There have been plenty of moments in my life where I missed out on really good opportunities because I was afraid of what others would think. In my opinion, more people would have a broader understanding and experience in life if they weren’t so scared of people’s opinions.
I have gotten bad grades from low participation in class because I was afraid of what the other students would think. I also got bad grades when I didn’t raise my hand to ask a question about something I didn’t understand. Another time was at church and we were allowed to share our testimonies, but I was scared that I was going to ugly cry in front of everyone so I didn’t share. I regretted that moment for a long time and haven’t gotten another chance since. I now know the saying “It’s better to have tried and failed other than not trying at all.” It is very true. Looking back at all these moments and I really do wish that I had tried more.
Now psychologists believe this is stemmed from the fear of being left out; alone. There are two balanced portions of a person’s character, the exterior and the interior. The interior is subject to our true authentic self while the exterior is the product of the way we see the world. These two sides are balanced, but sometimes one side can outweigh the other. When the balance changes it is because we begin to seek approval and begin to lose our true self-nature. It is naturally that our true characters begin to fade as our exterior becomes different from our interior. Therefore, our thoughts and behaviors during social interactions are only used for a response from others, not to express our point of view, who we are as a person. Our social-mask lives for the approval of others and that need for approval is from self-criticism which is based off of fears. Although this fear has many sources, the original is the fear of rejection which leads people to the “less than-mentality.” To stop seeking approval, self-approval and self-acceptance are needed. We need to believe that we are great on the inside as well as the outside.
Reference- Formica, Michael J. (2014, December 31). Why we care about what other people think of us and what we could gain if we stopped. Psychology Today. Retrieved June 29, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/enlightened-living/201412/why-we-care-about-what-other-people-think-us
<Joyce Choi, Thomas Starr King Middle School 8th Grade