Seems like a big part of this issue with frame and having our own frame or living in somebody else’s frame is really about the idea of approval, being approved.
We all like to have this feeling that, you know, we are OK, we are good, we are great.
And it feels good to be reminded of that, or to have that presented to us from outside.
So that if we do something and other people say “Oh, you know, you’re so great” or even just like “Yeah, you’re all right”, then we feel this warm sense of “Ah, I feel accepted by people, and people like me, and isn’t that nice?” Whereas if we do something and people say, you know, “You’re a bad person.
You’re terrible.” Then we feel a bad feeling.
It’s like “Whoa, no, people don’t like me.
What’s something wrong with me?” And you know, it’s almost like a kind of a fear that if people are strongly disapproving of me, if they think I’m a bad person, I could become socially isolated, and then, you know, maybe nobody will like me and I’ll be all alone.
Versus the opposite, if we feel ourselves approved, that you know, “You’re such a great person”, maybe we can feel like “Ah, I feel confident that I will always have people who like me, and I’ll be accepted. Isn’t that great?”
So it seems like it’s really easy to get very focused on this could be a roller coaster, riding the waves of opinions of those around us.
It’s just like a high when we’re accepted and a low when we’re rejected.
And so we can really build our lives around this seeking of approval, doing what we think will lead to other people accepting us.
And really we can base our decisions on that.
But it seems like the downside of this is if we base our decisions around pleasing other people, and you know, doing things that we think will make them like us, we’re always at the mercy of something that’s outside our control.
We’re always kind of in the dark, because we don’t know exactly how people feel.
We don’t know what will make people like us or not. […]
There’s all kinds of things that, you know, we can have a clear sense, but really, the overall judgment of whether somebody likes us or not, or you know, thinks we’re good, it’s completely unreliable.
There’s no magic recipe that we can follow that will automatically make people like us.
I mean, not even the majority that we can know.
Now certainly, you can never get everybody to like us.
And that’s one thing that can be quickly accepted, I think, is just that no matter what we do, there’s always going to be somebody that has a problem with it.
We could have the most perfect, blameless lifestyle imaginable, but somebody is gonna say “Oh, you’re such a goody-goody.
I don’t like you.” You know, “You’re so perfect. I don’t like that.”
Or you could have great success and be admired, but then you could also be envied.
So no matter how textbook, you know, you live your life, you can’t have everybody like you.
And even with the majority, you never know what the popular tastes of people are, and they can change, and the kind of things that are appreciated at one time may no longer be, and we can never be entirely sure how our actions and our attitudes are coming off.
So this quest for the high of approval it’s almost like being a drug addict.
It’s like “I want that high.
I want the high of people loving me, accepting me, approving of me, admiring me.” All these kind of feeding me with a sense of satisfaction that I’m all right.
And similarly, running away from the opposite, the fear that we will be disapproved of, that we’ll be ostracized.
It becomes this kind of chasing and running away from this kind of a shadow, because we never really know exactly what is going to make us loved or hated.
So it seems like we have the alternative of simply accepting that popular appreciation or disapproval can just be like winds blowing.
And we can accept that the winds will blow.
Sometimes I might be approved of, sometimes disapproved of, but I’m not going to base my decisions on this uncertain weather, and instead base decisions on what I think is right.
It takes a certain amount of courage, I think.
It’s not easy, the readiness to accept being disapproved of, being ready to face that storm of disapproval and even hate.
And maybe also a bit of faith that if we live according to what we think is best, that we can attract, probably, not certainly, but we can probably attract the approval of those who also feel the way we do about our values.
So that rather than seeking a general approval, by following what we believe in, we can most likely find the approval of those who share what we believe is important.
So I’d be curious to hear what you think about this idea.
How do you feel about the approval of others? And if you agree that it’s best to move beyond the need for others’ approval, and to live for our own values, how do we do that? How do we break free from that desire to be approved and the fear of being disapproved?
#approval #popularity #selfapproval