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Approval Seeker or People Pleaser?

We all likeSeeking approval from people will have you on an endless search a thumbs up…it’s nice to know that people appreciate something you’ve done…

However, if you find yourself needing that approval…or desperately seeking approval…or being a people pleaser and being more concerned with what they think of you…that is a problem.

That becomes an empty feeling…because the approval of others never will fill that void in your life, will it?

“Seeking approval from people will have you on an endless search for unnecessary validation.” Unknown

When you spend so much of your energy seeking approval from others or being a people pleaser, there is a tendency to do things that you might not otherwise have done. You say “Yes” when you really wanted to say “No”.

You may make agreements that aren’t always in your best interests. All because you look for validation outside of yourself…instead of inside…

Looking for Approval in all the Wrong Places

  • Parents
  • Partners
  • Friends
  • Children
  • Teachers
  • Colleagues

Whose approval do you really need? Your own. That’s right…

Does that mean that you can just go out and do whatever you want without a thought to what is in the best interests of others? No.

Looking for approval or being a people pleaser is something different…it is feeling that you are less than…that in order to feel good about yourself or your actions, you need to hear it from someone else…someone else has to say “Good job” or “You’re wonderful” because you surely don’t hear it from yourself…

And when that need for approval interferes with your life…when you have to have that outside approval…that feeling that people are pleased with you…your life doesn’t work as well as it could…because, after all, it is your life…and it doesn’t matter what others think…your approval is all that is needed. You need to be pleased with how your own life is turning out…don’t you?

Evaluate Those Life Areas Where You Seek Approval

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How is it working for me?
  • What is missing?
  • What works?
  • What doesn’t work?
  • Is there anything that I want to change?
  • What needs to happen in order for me to feel that area of my life is fulfilling?

And answer these questions based on what YOU want…not on any ideas you might have that by doing things THAT way…that you will have the approval of someone else…because in the long run…no one cares as much about how you live your life as you do…and that is really the way it should be. Because we need to mind our own lives…our own business…just because it is ours…

And think about it…

Letting Go of the Need to Please

It is actually a little easier than it seems. It is all a decision…a decision that can happen in an instant…if you choose it that way…just a switch from thinking about what others want you to do…and is that real, anyway? How do you know what they want you to do? A lot of it is just in our imaginations…which is great…because there, it is easy to make changes…because it is just your imagination…isn’t it?

Knowing your core values and knowing what you want in your life are steps to letting go of the need for approval and the need to be a people pleaser. Knowing that you are good enough is, too…and you can know that…because you already are…good enough…and since you already are good enough, then you don’t need the approval of others, do you?

Then you can be pleased about how your own life is turning out…because you created it the way you wanted it to be…

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner



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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sharon O'Day September 24, 2012, 8:06 am

    This article just gave me some great tools to better understand some of my clients, Sherie. We all have so many ways of demonstrating our needs and wants in terms of approval. You helped me flesh out my list of what to look for … Thanks!
    Sharon O’Day recently posted..Comment on The Mindset of the Financially Free by Sharon O’DayMy Profile

    • Sherie September 24, 2012, 9:53 am

      So glad that I could help,Sharon! Really appreciate your comment!

  • Lisa Frederiksen - BreakingTheCycles.com September 22, 2012, 1:04 pm

    Boy I spent decades as an approval seeker and people pleaser. This is an excellent piece to help others like myself find the way out! Thank you!
    Lisa Frederiksen – BreakingTheCycles.com recently posted..Behind Every Alcoholic or Drug Addict is a Family Member or Two or Three…My Profile

    • Sherie September 22, 2012, 6:06 pm

      You’re welcome, Lisa and thanks so much for your comment!

  • Suzanne Jones September 21, 2012, 1:26 pm

    I love the emphasis on it being in your imagination therefore you can unimagine it. So very true. If people only realized things don’t have to be so difficult!
    Suzanne Jones recently posted..How Do You Percieve Value?My Profile

    • Sherie September 21, 2012, 2:04 pm

      That is exactly right, Suzanne, sometimes…change can be very, very simple!

  • Lorii Abela September 19, 2012, 11:37 am

    I agree with the comments above. This is truly a great post, Sherie. Thanks for the reminder.
    Lorii Abela recently posted..What is Important in Attraction?My Profile

    • Sherie September 19, 2012, 11:42 am

      You’re welcome, Lorii! : D

  • Sara Nickleberry September 19, 2012, 10:29 am

    I think you make an important point when you emphasize “knowing that you are good enough.”.
    Sara Nickleberry recently posted..Twitter’s New Profile Page DesignMy Profile

    • Sherie September 19, 2012, 11:08 am

      Thank you, Sara!

  • Carolyn Hughes September 19, 2012, 3:40 am

    Great post Sherie which really helps distinguish between wanting approval and need it! It took me a long time to realise what you point out here and that is my own approval is the most important!
    Carolyn Hughes recently posted..The Freedom of Forgiveness.My Profile

    • Sherie September 19, 2012, 11:09 am

      There is a big difference…needing it is another kettle of fish, isn’t it? You own approval is all that counts…thanks, Carolyn, for commenting!

  • Estelle September 18, 2012, 6:55 pm

    What a great reminder – especially when working with others!!

    • Sherie September 18, 2012, 10:26 pm

      Thank you, Estelle! : D

  • Barbara J Peter September 18, 2012, 1:05 pm

    I love to thine own self be true.. a sure way to be unhappy is to try to please everyone but yourself !
    Barbara J Peter recently posted..Adultery In A Marriage: Can It Be Prevented?My Profile

    • Sherie September 18, 2012, 2:52 pm

      Certainly, it is!! Thanks for your comment, Barbara!

  • Elizabeth L Maness September 18, 2012, 12:47 pm

    Ho this is a big problem for me.. I try to please way too often and end up really unhappy. I need to work on this..;)
    Elizabeth L Maness recently posted..How to use Twitter to Boost Your Google RankMy Profile

    • Sherie September 18, 2012, 12:59 pm

      It seems to be a common problem, Elizabeth but it can be worked on…: D

  • Norma Doiron September 18, 2012, 11:31 am

    Absolutely right, Sherie. It is not necessary to have everyone`s permission or approval. In fact, when you follow your dreams, your vision… it will probably raise eyebrows. That`s ok! Move past it… Thanks! x0x
    Norma Doiron recently posted..Top Keys to Fire Up Your Blogging Audience Response, Part 1My Profile

    • Sherie September 18, 2012, 12:59 pm

      Absolutely, Norma! It is only necessary to have your own!

  • Olga Hermans September 18, 2012, 9:32 am

    Isn’t it an amazing thing that we constantly seek approval. It is such a waste of time. I seek to please God as my first and after that I am fine with everything else. Of course I like it when people approve me; we all do, but it certainly is not dominant in my life.
    Olga Hermans recently posted..5 Tips for You to Rule over BitternessMy Profile

    • Sherie September 18, 2012, 1:00 pm

      And that is wonderful because while it is nice to have, it is the needing of it that is the problem! Thanks for your comment, Olga!

  • Martha Giffen September 18, 2012, 8:51 am

    Great reminder! We can’t find happiness in other people’s opinions.
    Martha Giffen recently posted..7 Powerful Ways to Increase Social Media EngagementMy Profile

    • Sherie September 18, 2012, 1:01 pm

      Too true, Martha! Thanks for your comment!

  • Rob Hodgins September 17, 2012, 4:37 pm

    “Whose approval do you really need? Your own. That’s right…”

    You’ve hit the nail right on the head. And I only wish more people would think about your self-evaluation steps!

    Nice article. Thank you for posting this.

    • Sherie September 17, 2012, 4:49 pm

      Rob, I so appreciate your comment! Thank you!! : D