Do You Care What Others Think? OR You Don’t Give A Flip!
A couple of weeks ago I announced my 3-book contract with Black Opal Books, and the support from friends and family has been wonderful. Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and congratulations.
In response to my news, my cousin Laurie wrote this message: “Your Mumma and Dad would be bursting with pride.” In a message back to her I said the following:
“Thanks so much for your comment about my parents being proud. I can’t begin to tell you what that meant to me. It was absolutely the most perfect thing to say. It’s ridiculous, but so much of my hard work and focus is for just that reason, to make them proud. Here I am almost 54-years-old, still looking for parental approval (and they’re both dead, so WTF?) I bet Freud would have something to say about that.”
For the record, I Googled Freud to see what he had to say and found nothing. My daughter Stephanie might know (she’s a grad student, Forensic Psychology), but with all the prepping for conference I forgot to ask her. Oops.
Truth be told, I love the thought of my parents looking down from some heavenly realm, smiling and nodding, saying, “Well done, Snowflake. Well done.” And honestly, I hate that they aren’t here to enjoy this ride with me, because they’d be getting a kick out of it.
Some people are natural approval seekers, born people pleasers whose motivation is fueled by the approval of others. This can be both positive and negative, depending on the acts in question and the lengths to which one will go to achieve them. We’ve probably all seen examples of both the good and the bad. (Feel free to offer examples in the comments section below.)
I’m curious about where others stand on this (that means you, Buttercup), because when it comes to approval seeking, I’m guilty as charged. It doesn’t affect every aspect of my life, thank goodness, but certainly some of it. The older I get, the less I fall into that trap, but where my parents are concerned, I can’t shake that little girl need to make them proud. The people-pleasing characteristic is one of the reasons I excelled at customer service and account management (I’m stellar at rubbing bellies to give clients the warm fuzzies), but it isn’t such a great thing when my writing becomes—in my mind—an object of approval rather than a marketable finished product or, even more important from a well-being standpoint, the fruit of my creative sowing.
Are you an approval seeker? To what degree? And if you’ve mastered the art of not giving a flip what anyone thinks—no matter who they are—how did you reach that point? Have you always been that way, or did you arrive at that state of being through some event or turning point? I would genuinely like to know, so I hope you’ll leave a comment.
Well, Buttercup, I’m off to San Antonio for the RWA conference. I’ll be posting photos on FB and Twitter! See you next week for more of the Naked Truth.
Happy Wednesday, y’all!