I came across that question while reading a book about Chakras and more specifically about the Heart Chakra. It got me thinking about the intention behind our decisions and actions. Why do we do the things we do? What is the deep, real intention? Are we looking for approval, validation from others?
I believe that we all have basic needs. They are universal and necessary for our survival. Beyond those basic needs, there are personal needs depending on where you are at in your life, your experiences, your values, your conditioning. There is no right or wrong need, they are all valid in their own right.
I classify looking for approval, validation and attention as needs: the need for approval, the need for validation and the need for attention. I am not intending at judging the importance or the value of those needs compared to other ones. They are valid, legitimate and have their importance in our life.
We need the approval and attention of others because:
· We feel worthy when we get their approval / attention
· We feel validated in our thoughts, emotions
· We feel re-assured in what we are experiencing
· We do not feel good enough to stand up on our own
· We want to be part of the group
I believe as Human beings we need love, belonging, and security. A toddler will always turn towards his/her caretaker to check whether they are here (security), whether he/she has their attentions (with a look, a smile, a nudge), a reaction from them (approval).
If we lacked those marks of attention, love, approval as kids from our caretakers or even felt like we did not have them (and may not have been the case), we will do our utmost to look for them as adults and make sure we get them quite often in all the wrong places with the wrong people.
If our caretakers have not validated what we felt as kids, we will grow up disconnected to our emotions, body. We won’t trust what we feel / think and will be looking for external validation.
The lack of self-trust, self-love are big components of the need for approval and attention.
So, what makes you need the approval and attention of others? If you wish, take few minutes to ponder over it.