When a person believes in himself, he does not try to convince others. When he is happy with himself, he does not need the approval of others. When one accepts himself, the whole world accepts him.”
– Lao Tzu
To tie our self-worth to someone else's approval (or disapproval) is to create an infinitely false picture of reality.
But why are people so dependent on other people's opinions?
Why do people need the approval of others and strive to be liked ? At all costs?
The answer is easy. People are built this way - to seek approval and confirmation of SELF.
Human beings quite naturally respond to their experiences through the prism of their expectations, which are a set of ingrained beliefs about the way the world is and how it should actually be.
One of the most dominant expectations has to do with people's approval and the way we think they "should" treat us.
Social psychologist Charles Cooley discovered a century ago the phenomenon of the "mirror self," which can be briefly explained as follows:
We all believe that: "I am not what I think I am, but I am not what you think I am either." "that I am - I am what I think you think I am".
At the root of this kind of external validation lies insecurity, and when we rely on it, even briefly or infrequently, it does severe damage to our self-esteem and our sense of self-worth.
Alas, most of us forget that people form their opinions about us or our actions based on an ocean of influences – which are related to their own experiences.
It may sound incredible, but in fact, their evaluations have nothing to do with ourselves.
For example, it is entirely possible for someone to form an idea of our character based on their relationship with someone we remind them of.
When we tie our sense of self-worth to someone else's opinion, we willingly step into the role of vulnerable victims of someone else's (subjective and unreliable) judgment.
And this means that not only our self-esteem is directly dependent on other people's approval, but also our emotional state and our life - in general. We would feel comfortable with our personality if someone saw us in the right light and treated us well and with respect.
On the contrary, our condition would worsen every time we think that something is wrong, that someone does not like us, that we have made a mistake, or that we have not met someone's expectations.
It is very important to never forget that when we do everything FOR others, we put our happiness and our self-worth in other people's hands, thereby losing our moral center.
Life actually was not given to you to waste so much of it trying to prove yourself to others.
Finding and understanding yourself, your own dreams and causes to pursue despite and besides everything else is another road to walk. Otherwise the day will come when you'll find that you've wasted years of precious time in sad attempts to get to that cherished "recognition", which may no longer be of any value to you.
How many times have you compromised yourself just because you were afraid that others would stop liking you?
Each person can list hundreds of examples of sacrifices he has made in order to "raise" himself in the eyes of others. But everyone can get rid of this limited mindset. It won't be easy at first, but over time it is a change with a releasing and long lasting effect .
"We wouldn't worry about what others think of us if we knew how rarely they do."
So true, right? However, if you are firmly convinced that someone is thinking about you, realize something extremely important:
your perception of their opinion and criticism is nothing but a figment of your imagination.
Your insecurities and fears create this illusion. The real problem is that you are judging yourself.
In a few words: Let the truly important things guide you.
It's impossible to control people's thoughts, no matter how carefully you choose your words and gestures - at some point you'll either say something that won't please everyone, or someone will find someone to twist it.
What does this mean for the big picture? Absolutely none.
The only thing that matters throughout a lifetime is how you see, how you feel and how you actually accept yourself.
Shared with joy