The Emotional Addiction of Praise

 In my evening writing the other night, we talked about how a person can become emotionally addicted to the praise and approval of those around them. I thought that this would be a good topic to explore as a blog post.
 My questions will be in italics and the answers from my Inner Voice will be in normal print.

  Could you explain what causes a person to become addicted to praise and approval from other people?
 It is important to realize that what we are speaking of is the need to be praised as a way to bolster a persons self worth and self esteem. The reason for this need, is founded in a lack of true self love. If a person does not approve or love themselves, they will seek this positive emotional feeling from those around them. As this behavior continues, their self esteem and self worth will need the approval of others to maintain their happiness and a positive view of themselves. Through time this need can become an addiction, not for any substance outside of the physical body, but a powerful need for the good feelings that are associated with praise and approval.

 You are saying that if a person does not truly love themselves, they will fill this void with the approval of those around them? As this behavior continues this powerful need grows into an addiction?
Yes, this is the case. Please realize that this addiction is a desire to keep praise and approval flowing to them to maintain their positive view of themselves. Unknown to them is that through this behavior they are denying their true selves, to themselves, as well as those in their life experience.

Don't all people desire praise and approval, yet it rarely grows into an addiction? How is this any different?
When a person seeks the approval from another person for a job done well, this approval is not intended to maintain the self esteem of the person asking. It is when a persons self worth is solely based on the constant need for approval to maintain their happiness, where this behavior can become addictive. The constant need for approval to maintain a persons self worth is created through a lack of true self love. Seeking approval for a job done well is one thing, but constantly seeking approval to maintain a persons self worth is where this behavior can become destructive to a person.

How does being addicted to praise and approval become destructive to a person?
As this behavior continues there is little exploration into who this person truly is and the self love that is available to them. They ignore and hide their discomfort by their constant seeking of praise. If this praise is not given, then this person begins to experience many negative effects similar to withdrawals from an outside stimulus. To prevent this they will change their behavior to return to a place where they can once again experience the praise that keeps their self worth intact.

Most praise will boost a persons self esteem, what is the issue with that?
When a person accepts praise for something that they have accomplished, they see this praise as just praise. When this praise and approval are accepted as a way to boost their self esteem and it substitutes for their lack of self love, then this praise becomes destructive to who this person truly is. Let us explain it this way. A persons true self is based on their self love, their love for themselves, this is who this person is truly is. Experiencing a life based on this powerful love, allows a person to know themselves. Also there becomes no need for any behavior that causes them to deny themselves this inner love. When this love is the basis of life, no praise or approval is needed to boost self esteem or self worth. All the outside praise and approval cannot match the level of love that is within people, when they allow themselves to experience this powerful love.

 copyright Paul Hudon 2018


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