Questions 2 & 3

SA - Seeking Approval

A distinction needs to be made between the healthy intention to obtain the approval of colleagues, friends, and family and the compulsion to gain recognition and admiration to compensate for chronic insecurity. In the first instance, the person seeks approval from specific people whose sanction and validation impacts very specific concerns. In the latter instance, the person chronically attempts to be impressive to lower his or her anxiety. The conditional assumption associated with this behavior is: “If I get approval, I’m OK.

If I don’t get approval, then I’m not OK. Being OK may suggest a host of possibilities like not feeling inferior or excluded. People who rely on this coping mechanism will often find themselves mentally reviewing “successful” interactions they had with significant people. The behavior is both time consuming and harmful in that it reinforces reliance on a fear driven compensatory activity. The dichotomous (either its one way, or it’s the other) nature of the conditional assumption leaves us in a brittle state and hypersensitive. When we fail to gain the approval we desire, we become schema reactive and anxious. However it is important to also recognize that the very use of this coping mechanism means that you are fear driven and anxious.

There's a cost for using all maladjusted coping mechanisms. Seeking approval is one of the "Other Directed” coping mechanisms. This means that there is an over concern about how one is viewed by others at the cost of attending our own concerns. People who overly rely on this coping mode may fail to enter professions that are consistent with their inherent personalities. Seeking Approval may cluster with other compensatory modes like Redeeming Honor, Looking Good, Acquiring and Being Exceptional.


Record your answers to the following questions in your JOURNAL:

This Compensatory Mode is active in my life. The evidence that confirms this is as follows:

This Compensation Mode is not active in my life. The evidence that refutes this is as follows:

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