People who constantly seek approval from others usually have these 9 personality traits

Ever had a colleague who seems all too eager to cater to your boss’s every whim?

Or perhaps a friend whose opinions keep changing depending on who they last talked to?

You might be dealing with someone who’s constantly seeking approval from others.

Sure, we all need validation, but needing it CONSTANTLY simply isn’t healthy.

And here’s the thing: it usually goes hand-in-hand with other unhealthy personality traits.

Want to know how to spot an approval-seeker?

All you have to do is observe if they display these 9 personality traits.

1) They’re social chameleons

They take the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” to its fullest extent.

And just like how chameleons would change the color of their skin to match their environment, these people change who they are depending on who they’re talking to.

Are they a socialite? Sure. When they’re hanging out with socialites.

Do they like drinking? They do—when surrounded by people who love drinking.

They get along well with others because of this, but at the same time it makes it hard to define who they really are.

They become whatever people want them to be.

Why?

Because they want to feel like they belong.

2) They find it hard to make decisions

“Whatever you like” is their magic word.

When asked to make a decision like “what should we have for dinner?” or “where should we go”, their default response is always some variety of “whatever you like.”

They might seem indecisive—and sometimes they can be— but most of the time, it’s simply because they want to avoid annoying anyone.

By saying “Whatever you like”, they feel like they get to avoid imposing themselves (and their preferences) on others.

And hey, if they’re letting others decide for them, then there’s no way they’ll make anyone mad by making the “wrong” choices!

3) They’re afraid to stand for anything

Ask them something like “what’s your opinion on Jo Koy’s performance at the Golden Globes?” or “what do you think of my boyfriend?” and they’ll do their best to avoid making a position.

They’ll either shrug and say something like “Hmmm…they’re fine.” and “it’s not my place to judge”.

They might even hide behind someone else and go “well, my mom said your boyfriend is a bit intimidating…”

They can’t just straight up go “I think his performance sucks” or “your boyfriend’s nice but I find him intimidating at times.”

People who constantly seek approval from others are afraid that people will hate them if they speak their mind.

It pains them to always have to hide their true feelings, but to them that’s better than people actually hating them.

4) They’ll associate with any crowd that likes them

Most of us generally prefer to associate with people who we “click” with—those who share the same beliefs and values that we do.

But to someone who’s always out looking for approval, whether a crowd shares their beliefs or not doesn’t exactly matter.

What matters is that they like them!

In fact, they will happily hang out with people who bully them as long as they make them feel “wanted” from time to time.

That’s because people who constantly seek approval have deeply-rooted self-esteem issues.

They constantly feel like no one really likes them, so they might as well just take whatever they can get.

Unfortunately, this makes them more likely to associate with some really unsavory people.

 5) They’re full of self-doubt, and often fish for compliments

self doubt that might actually be signs of personal growth People who constantly seek approval from others usually have these 9 personality traits

“Was that good enough?” 

“Did I mess up?”

These questions repeat in their minds over and over.

It doesn’t matter even if they prove in word and deed that they ARE good enough and that they have NOT messed up. 

These doubts just keep coming back!

And again, this is because, deep down inside they really think they’re good for nothing.

They think they don’t deserve the success they’re getting (impostor syndrome), and they truly believe that nothing they do is ever enough.

People can tell them over and over that they did splendidly. People might even try drowning them in compliments.

It doesn’t matter to them.

Those compliments never stick for too long simply because they just don’t believe them.

This drives them to ask for reassurance over and over and over again.

6) They bite off more than they can chew

Because they believe they’re unworthy, they work harder than they should.

They’re the kind of person who would offer their heart and soul hoping that people will go “Oh wow, they’re a genius!” or “Oh wow, what a generous lad!”

They’ll volunteer to pay for everyone’s drinks even though their credit card debt is already killing them.

They’ll volunteer to help with the local cleanup drive even though they have deadlines to beat.

And when they (inevitably) screw up, they will believe it’s not because they bit off more than they can chew, but simply because they’re not “good enough.”

7) They find it hard to be alone

Humans are social creatures by nature.

But even the most extroverted among us enjoy having alone-time to reflect and relax.

To the person who’s always seeking others’ approval and validation, however, every moment spent in silence is torture.

Without others’ company to make them feel “adored”, “accepted”, and “loved”, they can easily get lost in their own self-hate and anxiety.

All of a sudden, their only company is that tiny voice in their head telling them that they’re unloved, undeserving, and that everyone secretly hates them.

This often goes side by side with a deep fear of abandonment.

That fear drives them into being extremely clingy and needy. Tragically, that same clinginess often ends up pushing people away.

8) They care way too much about their mistakes

Did they forget to bring their ID?

Did they forget to put food back in the fridge?

Did they cook their bacon for too long?

Most of us would perhaps panic a little about these mistakes but then immediately start finding solutions to the problem.

They, on the other hand, will treat these failures as if they’re world-ending catastrophes in their own right!

Flubs that others have long since forgotten play over and over in their own minds, reminding them of their own perceived worthlessness.

What’s even more tragic is that they end up overcorrecting as a result, which will then lead to more mistakes.

Sooner or later, they’ll simply turn into fragile balls of anxiety, worried that every single thing they do is a failure waiting to happen.

For some people, they NEED approval to manage their anxiety. But then the constant approval keeps them from actually managing their fears in a healthier manner.

9) They’re too nice for their own good

They simply can’t say no to any request!

Ask them if they’re free to help you out with your garden, and they’ll tell you yes—even if their schedule is already crammed full.

They couldn’t stand to disappoint people by telling them no. To them, that’s almost as bad as a “don’t talk to me ever again!”

So it doesn’t matter even if it means that they’ll have basically no time for themselves, or that their health is going to suffer as a result. 

They’ll always say “yes.”

They may even consider their self-neglect as a good thing because they’re serving others.

They don’t believe it’s their right to rest and say “no”.

To them, self-care is only them being “lazy” and saying “no” is only them being “selfish”.

Last words

People who are always chasing after people’s approval might feel like annoying little suck-ups.

But please be gentle with them and don’t judge them harshly for it!

They’re struggling with a tattered sense of self-worth, and they often end up thinking they’re worth nothing unless they do something to “prove” themselves.

There’s almost always a reason behind this. 

Maybe they’re emotionally neglected at home, or maybe they’re suffering from clinical depression.

So try to be understanding if you notice these signs.

Be someone they can feel safe around! 

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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