The desire for approval is a basic human instinct. We listen to the music we should, wear what we're told to, think as we've been programmed to think, even live as we've been instructed to live. There's a fantastic Gary Larson cartoon that depicts a man standing in front of another saying “So, YOU'RE the 'they' in 'that's what they say!'” This ethereal “they” is the entity sending out instructions into the world, telling us how to live our lives. The problem is, we listen to him. We cooperate, and in doing so, are seeking approval from everyone else. To conform, no matter which social group you hold dear, plays a vital part in your quest for acceptance.
I've made decisions in the past based on what I believe would make me more likeable to the general public. Step forward if you've never been there. (Not so fast Mr Malema.) This insatiable desire disconnects you from your pre-programmed person. But why not? Why should we not want to be liked, even respected? Surely to be approved of would allow your life to be easier, allow you to go further? Where is further? Is it the next rung in the social ladder? The corner office you always wanted? Reaching the next spiritual level? Heck, is it hosting the best god-damn Tupperware party your neighbourhood's ever seen? What ever 'further' may mean to you, I'd like you to stop and consider this: Are you content?
For fear of overwhelming my reader with question marks, I'm going to refrain from rhetorical questions and make a few unjustifiable statements; statements I've come up with based on nothing more than what I've seen, what I've done, and my infuriating tendency toward assumption:
We will lead others on simply to satisfy the need to be desired, no matter how we may break them down in doing so.
We seek approval in all aspects of our lives.
We hunger after the appraisal from others, without which, we believe ourselves to be not a 'loser' but simply 'lost'.
I conclude this rant without any meaningful conclusion to speak of, hopefully though, I leave you with a greater understanding into my confused and ever so twisted mind. The onus is on ourselves to stop seeking approval and to ultimately be content with our own choices.