Seeking Approval: Why You Don't Need To Prove Anything To Anyone

Seeking Approval: Why You Don't Need To Prove Anything To Anyone

Last update: 14 May, 2018

Always trying to be better than others is an unmistakable sign of insecurity. Although no-one needs to prove anything to anyone, or seek their approval, there are those who think they do, and they act accordingly.

What makes us to want to prove something and justify ourselves in front of others? Insecurity. And what makes it worse is when there is a great chasm between how we see ourselves and how we want to be seen. What we have  is a deep desire for others’ approval. Therefore, instead of feeling that we don’t need to prove anything to anyone, we end up feeling that the opposite is true.

When this is the case, we constantly compare ourselves to others and feel the need to prove that we are better than them in some aspect. But this will only ever give us an empty and distorted satisfaction.

“People with high self-esteem don’t feel superior to others; they don’t seek to prove their worth by comparing themselves with others. They enjoy being who they are, not being better than others. “

-Nathaniel Branden-

If there is love, you don’t need to prove anything to anyone

The key to all this lies in self-love. Many believe that self-love is the same as pride, narcissism or arrogance. However, in reality the opposite is true. The more self-love we have, the less we’ll need to boast about being the best and to despise others in the process.

Confident girl who doesn't need to seek approval

Having self-love means feeling worthy of appreciation, respect and appreciation, whatever the circumstances. This means that our feeling of worth doesn’t depend on anything external and not even on personal achievements, but on ourselves.

Self-love is essential and not circumstantial. Hence, when you have that feeling of appreciation for who you are, then you’ll never need to prove anything to anyone. You won’t have any such competitive desire, or the desire to create feelings of admiration or fear in others. The person feels valuable for who they are,  just for the fact they are living.

To be and prove to be, two different realities

Trying to be something that we aren’t involves a huge expenditure of emotional energies. There will always be an inner tension. Stress will be just a step away. It’s stressful to have to try and build up and keep a type of disguise, and then depend on the impact it causes in others to be able to feel self-worth.

Girls with blue and red hair

What we do is to try and prove we’re something we aren’t. That something could be a particular social class or a different type of personality. We may also try to show that we feel or think in a certain way (with compassion, patriotism, love, etc.).

Of course, there are also cases when you try and show you aren’t something or that you don’t feel something. For example, carrying out reckless actions to try and prove that we aren’t afraid. Or when we want to show that we aren’t ignorant, and try to make it appear so to others.

All of this is a result of us not accepting ourselves. Certain personal aspects are rejected for neurotic reasons. This means that the reasons that cause this rejection don’t come from any sort of sound reasoning, but from an empty desire to be like the rest, just to keep those around us happy, or so we think. So, even though no-one ever needs to prove anything to anyone, in these cases people think the opposite.

A matter of illusions

All of this trying to be or feel like someone else is just an illusion. Unconsciously they holds the delusional idea that by showing this to others they will end up getting their approval. And, in turn, such approval will help you achieve a feeling of personal confidence that is sorely lacking in your life.

In practice, what happens is totally the opposite. The lack of authenticity becomes an obstacle in both learning to accept and being accepted. After all, masks always end up being removed or disappearing.

Man with half hidden face

No person needs to prove anything to anyone. If we do have that desire, it is because inside there is something that is broken and hurting. The best proof of personal confidence and strength is simply being yourself. The disproportionate need for approval only leads to a vicious circle in which we feel increasingly less free and valuable.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.