Are You Hooked on Approval?

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.

  1. If someone disapproves of me, I feel like I’m not very worthwhile.  T  F
  2. It’s extremely important to be liked by nearly everyone in my life.  T  F
  3. I have always needed the approval of other people.  T  F
  4. I believe I need the approval of others more than most people do.  T  F
  5. I need others to approve of me in order to really feel worthwhile.  T  F
  6. It bothers me a lot to learn that someone doesn’t like me.  T  F
  7. Other people have a great deal of control over my feelings.  T  F
  8. I want everyone to like me.  T  F
  9. I need the approval of others in order to feel happy.  T  F
  10. I seem to need everyone’s approval before I can make an important decision.  T  F
  11. I’m strongly motivated by the praise and approval I get from others.  T  F
  12. I’m deeply concerned about what others think of me in nearly every area of my life. T  F
  13. I get very defensive when criticism is directed at me. T  F
  14. I need to have everyone like me even though I don’t really like everyone. T  F
  15. I would do almost everything to avoid the disapproval of people who are important to me. T  F
  16. 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
  17. 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)

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