Stop seeking approval and be yourself

February 01 2014

I have lived my life the past few years and now just realizing that I am being this “do things for approval guy” or “nice guy” that is neither truly me nor making me happy. I have realized over the past few months that this attempt to make everyone happy is not only hurting myself but with the people I interact with.

Some may say "Hey, being a nice guy is not bad and you will get what you want in the end." However, I find that it isn’t necessarily the act of being “nice” that makes you a nice guy. It is how we treat life and what we expect. Our act of being nice to people and our obsession with pleasing people causes us to expect the same in return. If we do not get it, we put ourselves down for feeling we didn’t get what we deserved. Whether we are with a group of friend or with our spouse, we do things that will give us more credibility and prevent ourselves from doing anything that may subtract value from us.

Part of this requires more empathy towards others rather than sympathy. We should fit ourselves more into others shoes rather than having them fit into ours. When we do things for others, we should do them for the innate good of the person. Now that can sometimes be tricky as doing something for others can always be good for them. It is also the avoidance of thinking that one day the favor will be returned to you.

Overall, I realize that being nice isn’t everything. It is this realization that we may be seeking too much approval from being nice and instead, living our lives to our own degree and helping our friends along the way.

Stephen Lu
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