Approval becomes a sign of love for people. If you approve of my dance, then you love me. If you approve of my report, then you love me. I know that I get sucked into this a lot and have always done my best to impress others in order to get approval. When I meet disappointment I just want to shrink into a shell. Quite hilariously sometimes as I have a really hard time playing a board game called “Nuns on the Run” where I need to be a nun/novice running secretly through the halls not getting caught by the head nun (Abbess). I seriously was panicking in the simple role play with the thought that I’d get caught doing what I shouldn’t have been doing. Why was I on the run anyways? It’s so much safer just staying in my little nun room as I should be. I guess I get a little too into games sometimes. I digress….
I make dissaproval mean that I am bad, or not loved, which is just not true. Dissaproval is really just an opinion, and something that doesn’t need to be directly tied to you. Yes, that was my body doing this dance. Yes, you didn’t like the movement of my body that made that dance. That doesn’t mean anything about me as a person. In fact, dissaproval just shows diversity in perspective. If something particularly strikes you like someone’s dissaproval of your action (say, you stood up a friend for a planned date), then this sort of dissaproval is actually a form of holding you accountable for what you said you would do. Dissaproval like this can be a difference of opinion (as I described above), or if you feel bad about it also, then perhaps this disapproving person is really just sad to see you fall short of your commitments, or sad about their personal impact. It still doesn’t mean anything about you as a person, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you are not loved.
I invite you to notice when you are doing something in order to get approval, and to see if you would do something another way if approval wasn’t your goal.