This need affects our lives more than we think. Most of the things we do are related somehow with this need. But first, what is this need and why it affects us so much?
This is related to one of our instinctual needs, the one of being part of a group. Why? Because in ancient times one individual could survive if he/she was part of a group. You couldn’t hunt by yourself, you couldn’t be safe by yourself, you couldn’t create and protect a family by yourself. Because of this, we kept on searching other individuals to help each other. When someone had the same needs and desires as us, it meant that they had the same values as us and we created groups with those people.
In our days, we don’t have the basic survival need to create groups, but we still feel the need to do it. But how can we do that? Basically, by doing things that others value (or we think they value). That’s why we do things we think they are appreciated by others. We feel the need to be part of that group. Sometimes our own values are replaced by the values of the group we want to be part of and the actions we do are related to that.
The real challenge here is to be able to separate our values to the ones the group has and to be able to find groups that have the same values as us. We shouldn’t change our values because of the group, but we should find groups with the same values as us to truly feel as a part of those groups.
How is this need for external approval affecting your life?