Posted by: Judy | August 19, 2015

Schema 14…

14. APPROVAL-SEEKING / RECOGNITION-SEEKING – Excessive emphasis on gaining approval, recognition, or attention from other people, or fitting in, at the expense of developing a secure and true sense of self. Yes. Improving.

When nothing you do is good enough is any wonder you put excessive emphasis on gaining approval?

This was a tough one because I both wanted attention and wanted to be invisible.

Simply writing that sentence makes me wonder how I managed to stay sane.

I don’t remember how young I was when I realized I was a chameleon, doing whatever was necessary to blend in. It may have been earlier than high school, but I can’t remember.

I do remember all the times I chattered with people, making them comfortable, all the while knowing I was lying through my teeth… actually, I think I was in college before I realized I wasn’t sharing me. I was reflecting them.

I was in my 20s or 30s when all the lies started to pile so high I was stumbling over them. I couldn’t remember what I told who. My integrity lay in tatters. People who were honest avoided me. I didn’t understand then, but I do now.

Do I still seek approval? More often than I’d like… that’s my first thought. On rare occasion, I’ll catch myself wishing for my parents’ approval. As a writer, yes, I do want approval/recognition, but I’m not willing to sacrifice my stories to gain it.

Do I attempt to fit in? Not really. Not anymore. I have a wide variety of friends not because I’m working to fit in but because I respect their point of view with the expectation of them respecting mine. Those who don’t, walk away. I’m grateful for all the wonderful friends who accept me as I am.

Now, do I curb my tongue? A great deal. There is a time and place for everything, but I’ve had to learn that everything doesn’t belong in every time and place. It isn’t about lying or withholding information. It is learning to be discerning and how to not run off at the mouth. In no way am I perfect, but I’ve improved exponentially.

This is another one that is all about setting healthy boundaries and practicing.

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Responses

  1. I think it is hard when you are a very sensitive person–I am, although I think I hide that well–to have no buffer between you and others’ reactions. It has taken me many years to learn to put that there–and I still struggle with it, some days.

    • Oh, my, yes! So many of my own reactions are in response to what a listener says or does. Sometimes, all it takes is a mere muscle movement on their part. Reading body language is a vital skill for a survivor.


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