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Author Topic: Approval seeking; putting people on pedestals.....  (Read 608 times)

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Online AncientMelody

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Approval seeking; putting people on pedestals.....
« on: January 23, 2014, 03:39:18 PM »
So one of my big challenges in life has been that I'm an approval seeker, a people pleaser.  It's been a part of me for a long time. Probably partly as an adult child of an alcoholic, but in school also I was the shy kid, often picked on, had a small group of friends but even felt like the odd one out of that group. I don't say this to complain, as there are many wonderful things I take from my growing up years, just wanted to explain what makes me tick.  And when I find someone I respect a lot as a person I often put them on a pedestal (ie, my family physician. One reason I ultimately decided to see a psychiatrist was because I was too worried about what my family physician, also a colleague, was thinking about me).  I value my psychiatrist enormously, so part of me is a bit concerned about doing the same thing, though that hasn't happened yet.

So, anyway, my point of the post is, I'm sure there are others on here like me. How have you handled it, if you have? My husband and I have found that a LOT of my anxiety issues really stem from being to worried about what other people think about me.

I do feel that it is improving recently....I'm not actively working on the issue per se, but doing a lot of values-based life planning from the ACT book I'm reading, which focuses on pursuing the life "I" find valuable and not on what others expect (though ironically is still very giving based). I've really focused on GIVING without anticipating  or hoping for a particular response..,making it about the giving and not about the approval I get as a result. I think these things have actually helped.  On the other hand, I've been seeing my psychiatrist biweekly to monthly, so I may be getting that emotional reassurance I think I need and perhaps that will change once I see her less frequently. Which leads to another question: how do you know when that emotional support is helpful versus reinforcing old habits?

What are your thoughts/experiences?


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Offline delilahking

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Re: Approval seeking; putting people on pedestals.....
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 01:42:29 AM »
Just my 2 cents and I very well could be wrong, but I find no harm in admitting respect for others ( how high of a pedestal you place them on I guess would be the difference).  Everyone to some degree would like others to approve of them and since you probably felt or were told or were made to feel you weren't worth much growing up, I can understand your need for acceptance. The approval your looking for is maybe more in needing some support that you are a good person. You don't believe yourself when you tell yourself you are so you would just like to hear it from someone else once in awhile, everyone needs that. You are just a little behind on your fair share of it. You ARE an amazing person weather you believe it or not, it's easier to believe the bad over the good weather these things are in your head or out of the mouths of others.

you have come this far, start by giving yourself a big smile and pat on the back and remember to be good to yourself. Good luck and thanks for sharing.
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Offline Potatoes

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Re: Approval seeking; putting people on pedestals.....
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2014, 02:20:40 PM »
You and I.... Of all these people I just found my perfect anxiety match. I gotta jet but I'll be on tonight to read this thoroughly and elaborate.
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Offline TWISTEDII

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Re: Approval seeking; putting people on pedestals.....
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 10:37:52 PM »
I can relate, and my therapist told me I put people on pedestals and was always concerned with what people thought of me.  What stinks, is it stems from my younger years of my dad telling me to always do what society would expect of me, fit in with the norm, and never go against the grain.  My mind always wants to go against the grain, but I always thought that was wrong because of my dad.  It's left me always wondering what people think of me, and I try so hard not to embarrass myself, but in the back of my head, I can't help but think "who the heck cares?"  Still though, I can't bring myself to act as if I don't care what people think, I "wish" I could act like I didn't care.   
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Offline unknownghost

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Re: Approval seeking; putting people on pedestals.....
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 01:36:37 PM »
I do feel that it is improving recently....I'm not actively working on the issue per se, but doing a lot of values-based life planning from the ACT book I'm reading, which focuses on pursuing the life "I" find valuable and not on what others expect (though ironically is still very giving based). I've really focused on GIVING without anticipating  or hoping for a particular response..,making it about the giving and not about the approval I get as a result. I think these things have actually helped.  On the other hand, I've been seeing my psychiatrist biweekly to monthly, so I may be getting that emotional reassurance I think I need and perhaps that will change once I see her less frequently. Which leads to another question: how do you know when that emotional support is helpful versus reinforcing old habits?

I'm a people pleaser (generally, with anyone I get the feeling from that they don't like me), though I don't tend to put people on pedestals anymore. But I remember doing this with a couple professors and bosses (aka, short term relationships I didnt have to worry about for too long).
I think you know when the emotional support is becoming reinforcement for your old habits when you start to really fear losing it. Sort of like the pretty girl who keeps getting told she's pretty, but needs to hear it more and more because her self esteem is too low to see it herself.
Sorry, I dont have any advice, just moral support ^^;
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