Friday, January 6, 2012


I seek the approval of others. In fact, I put waaaaay too much emphasis on others' opinions of what I am doing, at times. I have worked on it a lot, with therapy and lots of self help books, but this drive for approval is still there. Still lurking, at times rearing its ugly head unexpectedly.

I realized this after I recently sent out an email to all my friends and family containing the youtube video about our LEGO Club. Let me preface this by saying that this LEGO Club is my pet project. It means so much to me because it is helping my son develop needed social skills. Every time I think of LEGO Club it gives me warm fuzzies, because I know it's what I am supposed to be working on right now. I know it's helping kids and it feels so good to finally feel like I am actually helping Danny in a productive way, when it comes to social skills. And I feel so empowered because instead of sitting around worrying and complaining, I actually did something about a need in our area. It feels good.

So, we made this video to show Pepsi how their money helped us. I sent it out to people to thank them for all their votes and to let them know it made an enormous impact in our lives.

Many people wrote me, including some I barely know. They expressed their excitement for the program.

Still, it wasn't enough, because there are certain people who are very close to me who never wrote me. At least one of those people actually told me in a phone call that she hasn't even bothered to watch it. She's too busy.

This really hurt my feelings. Mostly, because these particular people do this a lot. They barely seemed to bat an eye when I told them I was being published in two books this year. None of them asked where they could buy a copy. They have also at times actually mocked my blog, so chances are, they probably aren't reading this. But, this is just how they operate. They say mocking things in an attempt to be funny and because I hate conflict, I rarely stand up for myself.

Because I am so close to them, I crave their approval more than anyone else's. And I think because they rarely mete it out, I'm often left feeling bereft.

These people probably have no idea that I feel they don't give me approval. They probably don't think about it much at all. I know they don't do it on purpose at all; they probably think that when they give me advice about a project I am working on that this is sufficient.

I recently read in some self help book that approval is totally unnecessary. Having or not having someone's approval in no way affects the quality of my life. Even if someone couldn't give a crap about my precious LEGO Club, who cares? It doesn't affect the club in any way at all. So, why do I care so much?

This is something I really need to get a grip on. But how? How do I get to the point that I don't care about other people's approval?

Any advice? Because I think this will be my New Year's resolution: stop seeking approval from others, especially those who just seem incapable of giving me what I crave.

My own approval should be enough for me, shouldn't it?


Lizbeth said...

I know where you're coming with this--its like the ones' who mean the most to you are the one's who are brushing you and your work off as inconsequential or meaningless, thereby making you feel less than what you really are.

Please know that there are those of us, like myself, who are in awe of your work and are trying to duplicate a fraction of what you do. You amaze me.

Susan said...

You are far from family- like myself- I find that distance can be hurtful to these situations. I am kind of in the same boat and I find a lot of times my friends down here are way more supportive and understanding than my family.

Molly said...

It doesn't matter how many books say it doesn't matter.. if it matters to YOU, it matters!

I hope they see your accomplishments and realize you deserve the recognition!

Anonymous said...

Patty, what a great article and expression of truth and honesty. There is a great book called "Dealing with the rejection and praise of Man" that really helped free me from worry about both of those responses toward me. Once I knew my worth was from another place, I stopped looking for it from others. Just thoughts and I hope I got the book title right. Thanks for this post and I finally took time to read it all the way through. :) Love to you!

Heather said...

Patty please know that you shouldn't worry. I would love to live near you so that Eli could participate in the Lego Club. It looks right up his ally. You are amazing. If people are missing that then it's on them. Try your best to let other peoples ideas just go. They suck. You are amazing. Yep, I said it twice. Hugs