Obsession: Doing something to receive praise or validation
Compulsion: I’m doing this so you will like me. If you think I’m good, I’m good
Approval seekers go out of their way to get other people to like them. It’s not the same thing as people pleasing, where the person just wants to make others happy. In this case, it's about generating pleasure for oneself by gaining approval from others.
Never Good Enough
Is your family a source of joy and laughter? Do you feel really good when you think about your family? Are you living among people who love and support you?
Many of us take our family relationships for granted. If everything is going well, we assume there are no problems. Out of sight, out of mind.
Unfortunately, some adults grow up in unhappy homes. Their parents and siblings called them names (stupid, weird, annoying) so frequently, they’re convinced they’re undesirable. Even highly successful people could be dealing with hidden pain from the past.
Parents have the power to send a message through their actions and words. A child who receives kindness and affection hears “I am lovable.” A berated and ignored child hears “I am nothing” or “Something is wrong with me.” Whether good or bad, the child stores the message in the “self-respect” file of their mind.
Dysfunctional homes tend to be devoid of fun. Little (if any) time is set aside for games or any enjoyable activities. It’s a serious, somber environment.
Children from such homes grow up believing there is no pleasure to be had in life. Everything is plain, boring, or uneventful. Tragically, some individuals commit suicide because they were programmed to believe this. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could delete negative thoughts from our systems, like a computer? If only it were that easy.
Think back to the questions you saw at the beginning. Did you answer “yes” to any of them? If so, you have a caring, friendly family. If you said “no” or “sometimes,” chances are your family has its share of troubles.
At Maui Recovery, we realize that self-assessment can be an exercise in pain. If having a flawed family troubles you, tell yourself that all families fall somewhere between perfect and destructive.
Don’t forget – it’s possible to change things. When you recognize that improvements can be made, you start the process.
Sometimes, a good attitude isn’t enough. Relationship patterns can go deep, and all the determination in the world won’t get rid of them if you don’t have help. Our codependency program gives countless sufferers the tools they need to move forward and conquer obstacles.
Obsession: How do people feel about you? What do they think?
Compulsion: Doing what it takes to make others happy. If you’re fine, I’m fine.
At Maui Recovery, we frequently have clients that identify themselves as people pleasers. People pleasers put others before themselves, even at the expense of their own needs. To them, fulfillment comes from the cheerful faces of those they care about. Many people pleasers find that their moods correlate with the moods of others. If somebody feels excited, they feel excited. When somebody wants to cry, they want to cry.
It’s not unusual for people pleasers to also seek out approval. At Maui Recovery, we have the tools to help. By acknowledging past traumas, our clients are able to take their lives back.
Obsession: Your image, how you look.
Compulsion: Performing every task perfectly, being the best at whatever you do.
Perfection addiction is usually accompanied by other addictions. Chances are they’re also a relationship addict, caretaker or people pleaser, as well. The desire to win or be the best at something is very normal. However, perfection addiction takes it to another level. Everything has to be perfect, from penmanship to pork roasts.
For perfectionists, hobbies and pastimes meant to be fun turn into stress inducers. Some believe their entire lives have to be perfect, while others say they’re only perfectionists when it comes to certain activities, (ex: school, work, or cooking).
Like other addictions, perfectionism may be the result of trauma. At Maui Recovery, we strive to give clients the support they need to overcome these roadblocks.