So I was browsing Youtube and came across a video that had me intrigued. It was about approval addiction. I only watched the video part way through. It was long-winded and I felt like I had the gist of it by half way.
His take on approval addiction was that we all have this innate need for approval, and some people even have an innate need for disapproval, hence why so many people tend to do horrible things and look for chaos. He said that it's the exact opposite of approval and therefore is still recognition. What's worse than either approval or disapproval is being ignored completely.
Up to this point I was right on the bandwagon with his reasoning. It was perfectly sound. However the viewer's question was "how do I get past approval addiction", and his answer did not satisfy me in the least.
His answer was simply to go without any sort of approval. To just live with not having that sensation. To live with the sensation of emptiness. And while that may seem logical, like quitting something cold turkey, I don't think it quite addresses the problem fully.
After so many years of seeking approval from everyone and every source, I've realized that I can give myself approval. I can actually get pleasure from self approval almost as much as getting it from other people. It takes some getting used to. It takes some practice too but I think it's possible. There was a point when I had to start getting off on what I was doing just for the sake of getting off. And at this point I'm talking sexually but this could be projected onto any type of approval I think.
Take this scenario:
I have moments of intense need of approval, needing positive feedback for pictures, my body, my self esteem etc. When I didn't get that approval for one reason or another, or it was simply taking too long, I learned to go back, look at the pictures, the video, and get pleasure in seeing them, as if others were seeing it too. It didn't matter that no one else was seeing it, as long as it turned me on, who else cares.
Sure there are times where I seek approval, I am still an addict, but much less so in recent years than in the past. It's part of the reason I started this blog. It was a form of approval again. And now, it still works even if I know that only a handful of people read it. My initial goal of accumulating followers has subsided and now I'm happy to write for myself.