“A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” ~ Vernon Howard

Approval seeking behavior… If you ask me this is where many of our challenges start. When you are too concerned with what other people think of you, trying to please everyone, you lose touch with yourself. You lose your balance and you begin to lose control over yourself and over your own life.

“Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.”  ~ Lao Tzu

If we want to live life the way WE want to and not the way others would want us to, we need to let go of our constant need to control what other people think of us, we need to learn to let go of our approval-seeking behavior.

I know that this is not always an easy task to do and that is exactly why I decided to write about the 9 reasons why you should no longer care about what others think or say of you, to point out some of the things we all know but we just need to be reminded of from time to time.

9 Reasons Why You Should No Longer Care About People’s Approval

1. You simply can’t be liked by everybody.

No matter how much you try and no matter how “nice” you are with people, you simply can’t have everybody like you for there will always be people who will continue talking about you and your “inappropriate” way of thinking, behaving, breathing, dressing, living, etc.

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ~ Winston Churchill

2. You can live a happy life without “their” approval.

You are not less or more of a person based on how many people like and approve of you.

Growing up we were told that in order to be liked by others we must be nice to people and we are, but somehow we keep encountering people that don’t seem to like us.

Why is that? Is there something wrong with us?

Not really.

Just because some people don’t like us, does not imply that there is something wrong with us, for that is not true. You are already, whole and complete and you don’t need other people’s approval in order to feel this way. How freeing is that?

“Self-worth comes from one thing – thinking that you are worthy.” ~ Wayne Dyer

3. You can’t control what other people think of you.

I came to the realization that we all live in different worlds, a different reality for each and every one of us, a reality that was built based on our thoughts, beliefs, experiences, based on what we were taught while growing up. What I might see as being right, other people might see as being wrong, and what I might see as being beautiful other people might see as being ugly.

We all have a different perception on how life should be lived and how people should act, and instead of wasting your time thinking about what other people think and say about you, why not spend that time improving and growing yourself, knowing that: “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.” ~ Einstein

4. Approval seeking behavior is time-consuming.

It takes a lot of your time, time that can be used to do the things that you really enjoy doing.

5. Approval seeking behavior drains your energy.

Every time you spend time thinking and talking about what X or Y said about you, not only are you wasting your time, but you are also wasting your precious energy.

6. Freedom to be who you want to be.

When you no longer care about what other people think of you, you start being yourself and you start behaving the way you always wanted but you couldn’t because of all the restrictions and limits you imposed on yourself. You have no idea how much freedom comes with letting go of your need to control what other people think of you. Just give it a chance and you will understand what I am talking about.

7. Inner peace. 

We all seek peace and we all want to be happy and the moment you stop caring about what “they” think, you will find just that.

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” ~ Peace Pilgrim

8. You are the one in control of your life, not them.

Mind your own business and live your life, the way you want to, the way it best suits you, and let go of your approval seeking behavior.

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you’ll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” ~ Arthur Gordon

9. The only person you need to impress is yourself.

If you like and approve of yourself, believe me, it will no longer matter if people say nice things about you or not, for you will understand: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung

You get to a point where you know, them talking about you has little or nothing to do with how you think, act, live, etc., but a lot to do with how they think, and who they perceive reality. A lot of times, what we can’t accept in others are the things we haven’t accepted in ourselves, whether we are consciously aware of this truth or not.

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself as someone who needs to judge.” ~  Wayne Dyer

~love, Luminita 💫

** What constitutes approval seeking behavior and why do you think so many people are after it? Why are there so many people willing to betray their own self just so that they can please others? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below 🙂

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Luminita D. Saviuc

Luminita, the Founder of PurposeFairy, is an enthusiastic student of the arts, psychology, and spirituality. Her acclaimed blog post, 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy , was shared by over 1.3 million people on Facebook. Later on, it became the heart of her book, 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy., book that was published by Penguin Random House. For more details check out the 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy Book Page.

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  • Back

    24, August 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Awesome article.

  • Marsha

    11, October 2012 at 9:07 am

    Incredible story there. What happened after? Thanks!

  • Stephanie

    8, October 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Maria, I love this!!!

  • sam ladin

    1, October 2012 at 1:47 am

    what difference does it make how long it takes as long as you get there……..trials and tribulations come with the sandwich enjoy the meal

  • kim

    29, September 2012 at 4:36 am

    I quit worrying about what others think about me long ago. I only worry about what I think of myself, and that is hard enough to deal with.lol I also remind myself of my greatest achievement, my daughter. A very beautiful,smart,independent, young lady who supports herself, takes college classes, works fulltime and has never given me a minute of heartache. I can say, I raised her alone, yes, family did help out, but I raised her and I think I did one hell of a great job. My success far out weighs my failures. I maybe somewhat physically crippled, I am no longer a productive member of society. I did however pay my dues, most of my adult life has been spent busting my ass. Up to 3 jobs at a time. A lot of times working 18-22 hrs. Aday. Do I care what anyone else thinks of me? No, when you walk a few years in my shoes, then I might find your opinion worthy of listening too. But for now, worry about yourselves, after all your the one who has to live with you!

  • Distance

    27, September 2012 at 9:16 am

    ” super ganda ng article na ‘to…dear friends this is AMR ~ a- must- read !!!” (“,)

  • Ted Scavino

    12, September 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I agreed with this article. But, let me tell you, it is not easy to get to the point where you don’t really care what people think about you. You have to go to a full process
    and release yourself from all the heat you get from everybody.

  • Caroline

    24, August 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Thanks for the insightful info. It always seems to when I need to be reminded. Thanks 🙂

  • Aice

    4, August 2012 at 12:54 pm

    i guess you can only judge if the person is really asking your opinion to judge..
    but aside from that we should not judge (^_^)
    anyway this is just my opinion. so it really depends on you.

  • M

    22, July 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I agree with this article however I find myself thinking sometimes you do need to judge, that’s how our legal system works and how we define right from wrong. If not people could just steal, murder without consequences. So I am at conflict with this message. Are there times when it is ok to judge? And how do you decide?

  • Steve

    8, July 2012 at 6:53 am

    Because there are so many Negative, unhappy people in this world that will try to steal your Happy-ness just to make themselves feel better.

  • Deidre (Dee) Guernsey

    7, July 2012 at 10:53 pm

    What other people think of us is often a reflection of what they think of themselves. You cannot love, or even like, another person unless you love/like yourself. The perceived faults seen in us by another person are often the result of defects or inadequacies they are fearful of having themselves.

    We must learn to recognize non-constructive criticism as well as false praise, for neither are worth considering. Seek counsel (not approval) only from those whose wisdom is known to you or from those who love and know you well.

    Opinions are like freeloaders looking for free rent space….in your head.

  • SoStep

    6, July 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Fantastic article. Wish I had this a few months ago.

  • Maria B.

    4, July 2012 at 10:13 pm

    When the committee in my head starts a meeting, I tell them to take it outside.

  • Rebecca

    4, July 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Most people these days judge you by what they see on television. I don’t own a television, so it makes no sense to me why they care about it. No fashions are worth your self respect.

  • Colleen

    4, July 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I’d add that not caring whether others approve of you and your choices is different than experiencing their love and your love of who you are. Love is freely given and unconditional. Approval and disapproval are neither. Cultivate love and you will gain your life purpose.

  • Judy Cote

    4, July 2012 at 7:21 pm

    When one participates in approval seeking behavior, one is not being honest with oneself or with another person. When one is doing this one is sacrificing one’s own integrity. (when
    I am not being true to myself I get headaches.)

  • Melissa mcDermott

    4, July 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Other’s disapproval of you is often rooted I the or own fear and insecurity.

  • Maggie

    4, July 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you for another wonderful article! I sware, like if by some miracle, things that I am having challenges with are addressed on here daily. Thank you for perfect timing!

  • debra warner

    2, July 2012 at 9:22 pm

    yea WGAS

    Who Gives a Shoot !

  • always.a.mother@gmail.com

    14, June 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Just the right words of wisdom to read and just at the right time. Timing is everything and its about time women spoke up the words their social circles need to hear. Thank you PurposeFairy 🙂

  • Robert M. Ridley

    12, June 2012 at 5:34 pm

    How many of us suffer from “approval addiction!” These insights are pointed and accurate. Thanks so much for another “blockbuster” tool to demolish irrational thinking.

  • Patty Shenker

    12, June 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks for this insightful, wise article. I loved what you wrote & the amazing quotes you included. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Again, thanks!

  • Thorminion

    6, June 2012 at 11:50 pm

    YUP nails it on the head.

  • Jacque Widup

    3, June 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I have never cared what people think of me. Life is to short to make others happy. If God wanted everyone to be just alike, he would have made us that way!

  • Lisa

    2, June 2012 at 10:44 am

    “Only by recognizing it and pulling it out by the roots…” … I love that! I had to pull some things out by the roots years ago and it saved my life, so yes, I totally agree. There are often long-ingrained thought processes and habits that form in childhood, times when the mind was vulnerable, etc., that lead us into the adult problems we have now. Just like you don’t wake up one day with neuroses and insecurities, you don’t wake up one day without them. … Good thing is, though, I’ve also found that advancing age tends to dim that inner flicker to please others. You simply get too tired of rehearsing that same worn-out script. … Soon the inner fire to own yourself ignites and there’s no way you can go back to the same old, same old.

  • danaadmin

    31, May 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Miranda, one step at a time. We can’t change all of our “bad” habits and behaviors overnight but if we want to change, change will happen and I can tell you this from my own experience. Imagine yourself as the person you want to be, feel the feelings that come from doing that and start acting as if what you want to happen already did. There is so much power in this, trust me! 🙂

  • miranda

    31, May 2012 at 2:13 pm

    you are so right, Annie….it is easy to read this, and hope to apply it, but HOW does one LIVE it…..I try my hardest to remind myself of these principles, but it’s not easy to remember when I am doing everything opposite…I keep trying….and I just don’t know WHY!!

  • Ivelina

    31, May 2012 at 10:05 am

    I used to believe, that what others think of me is the truth. For years I struggled with it.Then I came across The work by Byron Katie. It has changed my life! Now I know that other’s opinion of me is non of my business.
    Thank you again for this great article.

  • Barry

    27, May 2012 at 11:00 pm

    all guilty of all or some of these feelings……. thanks for sharing how silly and time consuming most of this crap is. There happenrn to be folks in my life that I am willing to be hurt for,,,,,,, my issue not anyone elses. And Garfields is one of mine
    and yes I want none of the addiction that goes with it.

  • Shari

    22, May 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I too have been struggling with this “approval seeking addiction” and have just realized this has really gotten me no where. Especially in my career. Therefore I how have a life coach helping me map out MY Plan. And I do have to say I still struggle with “appearing” to be non-caring or appearing selfish when I do make my own choices. But like Annie states above. I’m going to start pulling it up by the roots…starting today. (session scheduled this afternoon)

  • veena

    20, May 2012 at 7:56 am

    I agree.

  • Roses817

    17, May 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Excellent insight. Perfect timing!

  • Monica

    17, May 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I love that Churchill quote.

  • B Simi

    16, May 2012 at 12:51 pm

    What a fresh and wonderful post in the midst of social media’s narcissistic revolution. People too often confuse sharing and being social with being happy. It takes more courage to step away from the than to throw yourself infront of it. It seems too many people are living lives that will look good on a timeline not what truly makes them happy.
    Well done and thank you for sharing!

  • Darvan

    14, May 2012 at 5:29 pm

    You are never going to be happy if you deliberately don’t care what others think.

  • danaadmin

    14, May 2012 at 3:09 pm

    It does not suggest that Darvan 🙂 Of course there will always be people who don’t like you for one reason or another, and if like the quote goes, you end up having some enemies, that is fine. No need to look for enemies just so that we can say we stood up for something 🙂

  • Darvan

    14, May 2012 at 10:15 am

    Point #1 suggests it is good to have lots of enemies? Then to have no enemies is bad? To have no enemies means we never stood up for anything?

  • danaadmin

    13, May 2012 at 3:00 pm

    But then again, that is something they need to decide for themselves, Em 🙂

  • Em

    13, May 2012 at 1:53 pm

    This is very true! But I must say, It’s also unhealthy to not care at all about how other people feel about your actions. This kind of thinking might end up with some people gradually taking it to an extreme and end up hurting a lot of people, including themselves.
    Some people would lead happier lives if they DID change…for themselves and others.
    Just something to think about.

  • danaadmin

    13, May 2012 at 7:13 am

    That’s for sure 🙂 Just be yourself and you will be more than happy!

  • Angel

    13, May 2012 at 6:19 am

    Your never gonna be happy if you care about what others think 🙂

  • Annie

    7, May 2012 at 7:07 pm

    As a recovering Approval Seeker…I think all your points are valid..but this it is important to remember that some of the reasons that people seek approval are deeply-seeded in long standing unresolved internal issues.
    While your advice is solid, many people are not just going to wake up one day and read something positive then change their lives to stop seeking approval.
    It’s important to help people recognize WHY and WHEN they started doing that and to reveal the reasons and the fears that keep them in that unhealthy cycle.
    Only by recognizing it and pulling it out by the roots and wonderful advice like yours REALLY sink in!
    It truly takes focused, patient work to turn from the patterned ways of Approval Addiction. It’s great that you are posting on it to continue to bring awareness and healing!

  • Angela

    1, May 2012 at 11:19 pm

    I loved the comments! The last rang so true to me especially. It’s very nature though makes me hesitate to share it, because all who I really need to change, or justify my changes to are me! So should I seek to share my info with others so they might be changed. . .or is that pride? Hmm. . .

  • Derick

    30, April 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Number 7 says it all…

    As a coach for business owners it comes up often that if you’re seeking happiness or fulfillment from others’ approval, you’ll always be at their mercy.

    Inner peace comes from certainty that you are on the right path and loving yourself, so find ways to love yourself by living in integrity, acting in the way you believe to be right, and always choosing love over pride.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Hampton

    30, April 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Solid topic and argumet in this article. Decently written. Need to provide more basis and support for your nine reasons. Also would be more beneficial to the reader if your quotes were short, precise, and came from profound figures in society that people could relate to. Dwight Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt give great advice on this subject. Good job overall!

  • sibontot

    29, April 2012 at 6:08 am

    Well-written article just when I needed it most! Thank you Universe for showing me the ways to find this article and gave me instant relief, it’s time for me to let go & say goodbye to others’ criticism on how I think, act & live.

  • Mini Yogini

    27, April 2012 at 9:56 am

    So very true. It is so amazing when you learn to live your life for you and not worry about anyone else. Great tips for making that happen. Thank you!

  • Amelia

    25, April 2012 at 5:31 am

    I so needed this article…just moved to a new place and the women in the neighborhood are so judgemental that before they have even met me they have excluded or prohibited themselves from knowing me. I have waved, said hello to no avail, attended one get together thinking the ice could be broken…nothing! This has disturbed me greatly and my peace of mind. Earlier today, I decided to stop trying to see how they see me, but to hold true to what I know of myself. I wanted them to embrace me, but realized I wanted them more than I wanted myself to be happy….escape velocity set in and I began to realize I sought approval too much outside myself. This article appears to be synchronicity at work; thank you for reminding us of our truth!xo

  • Ginger

    24, April 2012 at 7:19 pm

    So I get think out of the blue from a friend. It’s like the universe knows that I’m at a fork in the road and am puzzling as to what to do.
    I’m not happy in my marriage, but I’m not unhappy either. He is a good man, but I unfulfilled. But I have stayed and feel I must stay with him for our boys’ sake, who are still relatively young.
    I’m struggling to understand if this is seeking approval — or at least not receiving disapproval from family, friends, etc.; of if this is the right thing to do.

  • danaadmin

    24, April 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Julie, not seeking approval does not mean we will just rebel against everybody just because we say that we don’t care about what they think of us. The idea here is to know your self worth and to trust yourself. To be open to other people’s opinions but if they do not match with yours to not make them your reality. It’s not rebellion, it’s more about knowing, really knowing who you are and what you want from life and from yourself 🙂

  • AJ

    23, April 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Really nice. (And I love how most of the nine items are linked to additional articles that go into more depth!) I think that many of us, including myself, spend way too much time worrying about this. I would hate to add up the hours, days, and years that I’ve wasted worrying about what other people think…

  • Julie

    23, April 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Where does one draw the line between being an approval seeker and a cooperative person? If we only care what we alone think of ourselves, then we are perhaps not listening to others and actually becoming blind and arrogant.

    It is natural for humans to want to be accepted by others. If we are living as an island and not caring at all about the opinions of others we will certainly be unfulfilled.

    I love the quote from Vernon Howard. As is we should think of others as sheep and ourselves as a lion.

    I am not saying we should live our entire lives seeking approval, but if one is constantly butting up against others, ther might be a reason.

  • ottah

    23, April 2012 at 11:55 am

    this is so true dear
    bless u
    i enjoy ur write-ups so much