Are you hooked on approval? Read each statement below. Circle “T” if the statement is true or mostly true, or circle “F” if the statement is false or mostly false.
- If someone disapproves of me, I feel like I’m not very worthwhile. T F
- It’s extremely important to be liked by nearly everyone in my life. T F
- I have always needed the approval of other people. T F
- I believe I need the approval of others more than most people do. T F
- I need others to approve of me in order to really feel worthwhile. T F
- It bothers me a lot to learn that someone doesn’t like me. T F
- Other people have a great deal of control over my feelings. T F
- I want everyone to like me. T F
- I need the approval of others in order to feel happy. T F
- I seem to need everyone’s approval before I can make an important decision. T F
- I’m strongly motivated by the praise and approval I get from others. T F
- I’m deeply concerned about what others think of me in nearly every area of my life. T F
- I get very defensive when criticism is directed at me. T F
- I need to have everyone like me even though I don’t really like everyone. T F
- I would do almost everything to avoid the disapproval of people who are important to me. T F
- It only takes one person’s criticism or disapproval in a group to upset me even when everyone else is giving me praise. T F
- I need the approval of others in order to feel loved. T F
How to score and interpret your answers: Total the number of times your circled “true.” If your score is between 13-17, you are addicted to the approval of others—and to avoiding other’s disapproval. If your score is between 8-12, you have an overly strong concern with what others think of you. Your desire for approval is a problem and warrants your immediate attention. If your score is between 3-7, your approval needs are moderate. However, your desire for approval and your concern about how others think of you still predispose you to being a people-pleaser. If your score is 2 or less, you don’t have major approval seeking problems.
If you are hooked on approval, you believe that being liked and gaining other’s approval are absolutely essential to your well-being. You do not want to be liked; you need to be. For you, approval is not simply desirable; it is imperative, like oxygen.
Source: The Disease to Please by Harriet Braiker (McGraw-Hill)