approval addiction

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Mary
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Re: approval addiction

Post by Mary » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:58 am

Hi Mia, Laura & Monique,

I thought that this thread might be a good opportunity to demonstrate how easy and how often it is that many of us are still in our façade when it comes to approaching 'emotional processing' and self discovery.

By this I mean, that it frequently happens (and I have done it myself) that we tell ourselves that we have a certain emotional injury or addiction because it suits a façade based concept of ourselves that we wish to maintain to ourselves, or to others. In these cases we 'choose' or 'decide upon' an 'injury' we feel is more palatable to our own self concept, or, it could be that presenting this 'injured self' to the world is a method we employ to manipulate what we want from other people.

So, to use this thread as an example:

Mia

Hi, nice to meet you!

I agree that you have an addiction to approval. This covers a fear/terror based feeling coming from the fact that you were made to feel responsible for everyone's happiness in your childhood environment and if you didn't make them happy then you were in big trouble. This 'trouble' may have taken the form of complete withdrawal of love, severe disapproval or perhaps in other ways – you would know best.

This is a terrible crushing feeling and does, as you have noted, drive most people into a life of façade and a feeling of not really knowing themselves as they are always responding to whoever in their environment poses the biggest emotional or physical threat of violent disapproval.

I'm pretty well acquainted with this injury myself.

Working through this addiction involves, challenging fear and having courage to start to simply find your own feelings about things and be open about them and true to what you want.

In addition, there will be the grief associated with feeling ultimately responsible for lots of things (that you actually have no control over) and for most people's happiness, to feel. Unfortunately,

Laura


I can't agree that you have the same injury as Mia.

In fact, your addiction to approval exists because you feel entitled to it. If you don't receive approval from other people you become angry and demanding with them. This is because you received a lot of attention and had a lot of things done for you in your childhood and you were raised to feel that this was right and loving and that you are deserving of such things.

Your injury was actually created because you received approval and a lot of physical things that wanted from others in your childhood. This led you to feel that you were entitled to this kind of attention.

This is very different from Mia's experience.

Mia lives in terror of not having approval. She is afraid of what others will do to her if she doesn't do what they want. So much so that she finds it hard to stay connected to herself and her own desires. She is afraid of others harming her if she doesn't do what they want.

You feel someone has harmed you if they don't give you approval and do what you want.

This is why you have so much anger towards your mother. Your hurt self feels entitled to things that she no longer gives you as readily. This exposes a fear in you that you are not capable of doing things for yourself. As you are not yet willing to feel that fear you want to punish her for not doing what you want.

While I agree that she may not have taught you how to look after yourself as you were growing up, you are now blaming her for the important lessons relating to being responsible for your own will. God, through His Laws, is attempting to help you learn to take care of yourself, your emotions and your relationships. These are all things that you will need to learn if you are ever going to be a 'grown up' woman and enter God's Kingdom. (I always tell Jesus that I will feel like a grown up when I know that I am taking full responsibility for all of my emotions at all times :) ).

This kind of injury can be more difficult to face because lots of people judge being demanding (out of entitlement) more than they judge being compliant (out of fear). This is how the facade can want to stay in control of your perceptions - you block the full receipt of truth about yourself because you judge it.

You say:
I have judged myself for this but realised my dependency on others isn't my fault (even though I am now responsible for changing it) but was given to me.
I feel that you are very caught up in BLAME of your parents and your environment, rather than on healing, forgiving and taking responsibility for yourself. You are also attributing the wrong cause to the injury that you did receive from them. And this is going to limit your growth, you will never actually get through your anger because you have a wrong perception of what has actually gone on .

Your statements that you have similar injuries to Mia indicate that you haven't come close to feeling the truth about where your addiction has originated.

Internally you still feel that others are to blame for your 'hardships' – which are really just lessons every child of God needs to learn – and in your façade you are living in the hurt of being 'harmed' when in fact your mother actually did a lot for you that many other mothers don't.

You said:
I still feel I am a 3 year old who doesn't know how to do simple things for myself and I thought it was because no one had taught me, which is true to some extent but am realising more now it is because I have this fear and sadness locked in me since childhood that I am not capable of doing adult things and when I do they are never good enough or done right and I have been severely judged for every attempt to live my desires and act towards independence.
While I agree that you do lack confidence to do things for yourself and you have fear relating to starting to do things for yourself, I can't agree that this is to do with sadness or lack of physical care or attention from your childhood. It comes from having things done for you and you never being encouraged to try things for yourself.

This was harmful for sure. But you aren't correctly assessing (from a soul perspective) how it was harmful. And you are still resisting taking taking responsibility for your life and for what is now inside of you that you will need to release in order to feel better.

You also said that:

So I have isolated my self in shame in my house, afraid of peoples judgements for my dependency. I don't even talk about it to others as I feel so ashamed of it.

Laura, I feel that your isolation is more about rebellion and anger against taking care of yourself and learning these lessons that God is attempting to help you learn.

The difficult thing to work through with your addiction to 'approval' (which relates to a demand for approval rather than a fear of a lack of it) is coming to terms with God's Truth that you are responsible for yourself and your own care and that no one in the world HAS to love you.

Injuries in which we have been made to feel that certain addictions or ways of behaving are loving (when from God's perspective they are not) are challenging to heal. Internally we have the feeling that the sin based belief is justified and righteous. Then when other people or events challenge that error we believe that we are being treated terribly. Unfortunately you have a strong tendency to blame others for your discomfort as a result. This is clouding your clear viewpoint of the actual issues that you face and the dynamics that you have with your mother.

For example, this statement could very likely be a reflection of a spirit influenced 'emotion' rather than the actual truth.
I have been severely judged for every attempt to live my desires and act towards independence.
Until you properly connect to your feelings of entitlement, you are going to perceive even firm directives to take personal responsibility as harsh.

It is important to grow the desire to see your situation from God's perspective and recognise that some of what you are calling 'hurt' and 'sad' feelings from your childhood are actually you feeling harmed hurt in the present day because your injury is telling you that you should be getting things that aren't getting anymore.

This is a façade based pattern that you are in and any 'processing' you do to release your perceived hurt will not change your soul condition or your attractions.

If you need clarification on what I mean here then please let me know. I have a number of injuries that relate to having things done for me that now feel painful to give up in light of God's Truth that I am actually responsible for doing these things on my own.

Hopefully from my explanation you can see how different your injury is to Mia's. I'm not sure I would call yours an addiction to 'approval' rather it is more like an addiction to being cared for physically and given attention. This was created through your mother doing these things for you for a long time.

Monique

Mon, I cannot agree at all that you even have any addiction to approval.

This statement is completely untrue:
Everything I say is to get approval of others, my desires are really just to please others and respond to what I can feel they want of me, and the person that I have become is no more than the reflection of what I think the person in front of me wants
While you may do things that other people might like at times, you actually only do this in order to manipulate situations with these people and to gain control over these or other people.

You are not motivated to actually do what others want, and you are not in an unworthy or fear based state seeking a feeling of worth or approval from them. You are doing what you want in order to exert a feeling of superiority over others.

This does mean that you are continually sensing what injuries and desires the people in your environment have and modifying your behaviour accordingly. However there is no fear driving these actions. You are not in any way interested in other people's sincere esteem or approval (you already have a strong sense of your own superiority over them).

You do often do things in façade and with the appearance of being 'good' but this in order to gain a sense of power over others.

I am being quite direct with you here (as I have done in private many times in the past) as I feel it is important to point out how little you actually have the addiction you are claiming to have. And any 'processing' work you do attempting to deal with an addiction that doesn't exist is going to do nothing at all.

Also, I am aware that you and the spirits with you often prey upon people such as Mia who are very frightened of people who use emotionally manipulative techniques in order to gain power over others (as you currently do).

Jesus and I recently recorded a personal feedback session in response to your email to us in the hope of assisting you once again to become more honest regarding these issues. Until you want to be more real about your true motivations there is no hope of you actually changing and forming a relationship with God.

I also feel that it is very important to warn other forum members of your motivations and those of the spirits with you as I don't want this forum to become a place where people are able to be harmed. I certainly don't want people to treat you badly but I also can't support you in facade based statements that might leave less sensitive people open to manipulation.


I really hope that this feedback can assist others to reflect on how essential it is to feel and connect to the specific emotional sin that drives each of our addictions if we are to heal ourselves.

It can be oh so easy to 'intellectually choose' what our causal issues are. It is a way of feeling more in control of our process; a way to avoid what we judge as the 'awful' truth about ourselves (which is just an unnecessary judgement – also used to control ourselves and our emotions); or sadly a way that we can continue to manipulate our environment in order to continue to have our addictions met.

God is absolutely the best and most reliable helper when it comes to feeling the truth and surrendering emotionally. You can always ask Her for help :)

Love you all,
Mary

Phoebe Bruce
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Re: approval addiction

Post by Phoebe Bruce » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:17 am

Dear Mary

I wonder if you can also provide me some feedback on this issue, as it is something i have been thinking about over some time, and feel confused and like I lack insight and truth...or perhaps the desire to see clearly. But I also feel the truth could really help me to find a starting point.

When I read Mia's post the first paragraph really resonated with me. I know I have a heavy facade and am very invested in getting other's approval. I feel as a child, I felt responsible for keeping mum (and dad) happy, and really had a sense that if I didn't, she would die. And she did, and I think i am beginning to get a sense for how guilty I feel about her death. I felt constantly disapproved of as a child, and have a lot of anger and resentment in me about that. I think as a result of mum's suicide I have created a facade which enables me to get approval from others to avoid intense feelings of rejection.

But I also resonate with Laura's post. I feel like I have not learned to take responsibility for my life in some ways, like I want other people to make things ok for me so that I feel 'safe' to proceed etc. I know that after mum died, dad did a lot of physical things for us girls, even though he was in a complete rage and hated me most of the time he still cooked and cleaned and I feel I didn't take a lot of personal responsibility for my needs over my early life. Maybe that is a separate issue to the approval one, but I know, with my family in particular, when I feel disapproved of I still have a strong tendency to get very defensive and angry and basically rock-like/total shut down.

But I am honestly unsure as to whether i respond in that way because, as you wrote to Laura:

Mary wrote:In fact, your addiction to approval exists because you feel entitled to it. If you don't receive approval from other people you become angry and demanding with them.
I have an addiction to approval from men, and this manifests in my desire for attention. I have thought that this was because of the intense disapproval I believed I felt from my dad, and the rejection I received from him particularly after mum died. But I have wondered, and felt afraid of, the possibility that i am just deceiving myself, or my memory is inaccurate, and that actually dad gave me approval type feelings , and cooked and cleaned, and now I have come to demand and expect it. I think I definitely judge this possibility more, but I have felt in confusion about it for a long time as I really have believed that I felt disapproval from dad (and my environment generally)

I guess I am unsure if the reason I get so defensive, with particularly my family, is because I am demanding they approve of me and 'understand' me or because I am in deep resistance to the pain I have felt about being disapproved of. I am in Adelaide with family at the moment and this issue is again a big one.

Sorry this question feels a bit jumbled... I struggle to articulate my feelings and thoughts at times.

Would appreciate your help if you feel to,
thankyou
Phoebe

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Eloisa
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Re: approval addiction

Post by Eloisa » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:01 am

I just wanted to Thank those of you who shared and thank you Mary for clearly sharing what is really going on here with each person.

It is so helpful to me both as an approval seeker and having created injuries similar to Laura in our children, particularly our daughter.
I have much to reflect upon and feel about in this area.

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing!!

Eloisa

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Kathy Sitz
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Re: approval addiction

Post by Kathy Sitz » Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:50 am

I have Laura's injury of entitlement and I married a man with Mia's injury of being afraid of not doing what people want. My husband and I lived in this co dependency for 16 years and, due to my injury I acted like an incredible bully, always demanding and expecting things from him. As Mary points out, its very difficult to see the truth of this state, to be able to admit it to yourself and really see how damaged you are, to realize that you are NOT really entitled. Even after I almost lost my children and husband I still could not see it. I was lead somehow to read a book on co dependency and all of a sudden I understood. And I felt so ashamed. But it was a good thing because it was like a light switch had gone off in my head and I could see this part of me truthfully for the first time. I became aware of the work I had to do in this area.

There isn't a lot of help available that I can find for people who see that they have been living with a sense of entitlement and would like to change it. There is plenty of help for narcissist abuse survivors but not for the narcissist themselves. If anybody knows of anything and feels led to tell me, I could use some suggestions in this area.

I have quit acting out in my addiction for the most part (I still have slips), meaning that I have stopped the demands and anger projections at my husband and kids. But I discovered recently that I had turned it inward on myself in the form of self punishment. (I was a horrible person and how could I have done such things). Mary's blog on deconstructing self punishment was a good read.

I am a long way from being healed from this, I know. I see other pretty big things in myself now too, like how little I am able to actually give love. And I mean I am literally unable. Having things done for me so much as a child meant that I never learned how to give, and my own sense of entitlement and superiority has really crippled me emotionally. I feel as it there is a huge frozen emotional block of emotions within me that I cannot access. I am also beginning to get a sense of just how selfish I have been and that feels really horrible.

And writing this post is very very difficult, because my facade had worked very hard in covering this all up. But I know I will never become a softer person until I deal with this. I will never be able to love others unless I deal with this. And, I will never be able to have a relationship with God unless I deal with this.
Kathy from California

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Laura Berry
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Re: approval addiction

Post by Laura Berry » Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:29 am

Dear Mary,

Thank you for your honesty and love,

I find this hard to accept...

I judge this and I have no compassion for myself about this. This is a terrible thing and something I should hurt myself for or bet hated for.

It is a gift and an opportunity if you wish to give clarification and I appreciate anything else you feel you can say about it,

Take care,

Laura x

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Laura Berry
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Re: approval addiction

Post by Laura Berry » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:34 pm

I just want to add that I wrote this in an introduction post to a forum member...

"I feel quite often we desire to make things easier for others because they want us to so they don't have to develop faith, courage and all those amazing things but rather get someone else to do it for them and by placating that in them we don't let them grow for themselves"

I notice I do this a lot but I don't see it until after, it is like I am talking to myself? or is it my guides words I am speaking? I just don't want to see I am the person I am really talking about... is this why hypocrisy develops because we almost analyse ourself from a safe distance without having to admit we are the person we are talking about.

I thought it was quite interesting and funny in some ways.

Mianoel
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Re: approval addiction

Post by Mianoel » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:19 pm

Thank you everyone for this opportunity for understanding more truth.

Dear Mary, if I could ask maybe a further clarification:

Why is it that I identify more with your explanation of Laura's and Monique's addictions? I always thought that I must be expecting people to do everything for me, or that I want to manipulate people because of superiority feeling.

You mention in your feedback to Monique the following:
Also, I am aware that you and the spirits with you often prey upon people such as Mia who are very frightened of people who use emotionally manipulative techniques in order to gain power over others (as you currently do).
How is this "preying"? This must be happening to me frequently, with spirits too. How do they gain power over me? How does that work technically? How does that affect my life or connection with God? How do I recognise when this happens?

Best Regards, and thank you again,

Mia

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Marina Smargiannakis
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Re: approval addiction

Post by Marina Smargiannakis » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:54 pm

I would also like to thank the three ladies and Mary's input as well, it is a great opportunity to see where we stand, and to grow.

Laura,

Being a woman who has many of the same injuries as you, I just wanted to point out that I was given similar recent feedback, and the reason you feel you want to self-punish is due to the tantrum, or feeling of being 'exposed', about your condition. Self-deprecation seems to be a favorite of mine, and it is done, unfortunately, in a rebellious attempt to re-gain (self-)control due to LOVING feedback that was given to you.

I feel, honestly, that it would benefit you to just feel the anger/tantrum about what Mary said to you. If you choose to pray, reflect, and become more sensitive to your emotions, and re-read what she wrote to you, she has given you enough 'food for the soul', for you to work through and progress in your condition. Asking her for more clarification is an addiction to wanting more attention, which is again, something you demand from your environment, and your mum. Basically, if you know you are rejecting, or 'judging the emotion with no compassion', why would you realistically want MORE of info that you know you're going to reject? Does that make any sense?

I point this out because I am the same kinda gal, only I do it more for a man's attention, than a woman's.

Here is the youtube vid of the feedback: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxLYLV7gqmk.

For myself, being a person who feels superior to others, accepting the fact that I am in a lower condition originally appeared preposterous (rebellion), and then when I decided to work with the facts that I was given, I saw that I could logically ask myself what it would mean for that to be a TRUE statement, and that's when I started being able to admit that I even have that addiction at all. Like I said, I am still working through even admitting before I deconstruct my facade, but I think if you feel stuck about it, just to be honest that you would prefer to not know, than to grow. Being honest with myself to God is the easiest way to get into any emotion. I seem to always forget that.

Thanks again all.

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Laura Berry
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Re: approval addiction

Post by Laura Berry » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:59 pm

Hi Marina,

Thanks for your feedback and video link too.

I wish you the best with this as well,

Sorry for asking questions and maybe I should just go and build the relationship with God better and then maybe things will be easier. I still have a lot of anger with God so yea God is who I am angry at at the moment.

Anyway thank you again.

Laura x

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Kathy Sitz
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Re: approval addiction

Post by Kathy Sitz » Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:52 pm

Hey girls,

Is it that we can't accept that we have an injury of superiority and entitlement or is it that we really just don't want to give it up? I have not wanted to give my injury up. Feeling superior feels powerful and "good" and its a very seductive addiction. I was told by my father that I was a princess and better than everyone else and I wanted to believe it. It felt "good" to believe it. I remember knowing deep down that it wasn't true, yet pretending that it was. Add that to being an American. Americans have an arrogant false belief that we are superior. We believe we are the most powerful country and we can kick anyone's arse. We're "proud" to be an American.

So I've had to ask myself do I want to be humble or do I want to hold onto feeling "superior"? Here's the thing: When I am acting "superior" I am doing it at someone else's expense. For me to be "superior", whoever I am abusing has to suffer. When the light switch went on in my heart about that I felt the first feelings of desire to want to change. I've got a long way to go but it was a start. I realized there is no way I can truly have ANY kind of loving relationship with someone when at the same time I am abusing them. I have nearly destroyed my spouse and have done a great deal of damage to my children because of this. Its hard to face the truth of that and I fight self punishment now that I am aware. I have a lot of repentance to do.

I also have a lot of work to do in order to forgive my parents. At the moment its difficult to feel how my dad damaged me by treating me as if I were superior...but I see that it wasn't really loving. If I go way back into the recesses of my memory I realize that he wasn't seeing me for who I really was, a child with strengths AND weaknesses, he was seeing me for what he wanted me to be. Therefore he was not loving ME. In fact, I think he wanted me to be "better" in order to feed his own addiction of superiority. If I were superior then he could see himself as superior because he was my dad.

The funny thing about superiority, is if you really strip all that facade away, inside is a wounded hurt child that realizes they are not superior. In fact, because I was not seen for my true self, I really feel inferior. Its ironic in a way. And I need to do exactly what Mary and AJ said to do in the assistance groups....strip away the facade (of superiority) and feel the emotions of the hurt child (inferiority).

Here is another irony: all that "power" and "control" is an illusion. I notice as I step back and let go of trying to control things, that the resistance from others melts away and I get more satisfying exchanges with them, the very thing I am fighting so hard to get by exerting "power" over them. Who knew I didn't have to expend all that dark energy? Little experiments like these are building my faith that conquering this addiction and being more loving will help me align with my true desires and become a more loving person.
Kathy from California

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