How to get rid of the need for acknowledgment

On the compulsion of the need to get acknowledgement and how to get rid of it.

On this page we will explore the faces of acknowledgment, which for me was always my Hidden Agenda. For me in order to feel acknowledged I needed to feel approved of. My question is, since it seems so logical in my mind, is that the case for others as well? I really couldn’t say but when I felt I did something that pleased my parent I felt I suddenly ‘was able to be’. It felt as if my existence was acknowledged. I wasn’t ignored anymore as ‘that person that…’ So no wonder you want to do things in a way that would lead to that feeling.

Now at some point the parents are not present anymore. Who then is it (preferably) to be expected from and what it actually stands for.  We will also give a few suggestions that might be of help if you decide you want to free yourself from that ongoing dominating need that rules your life –  that need for which you actually do everything you do or avoid everything you avoid.

Furthermore I want to mention two related concepts with links to the appropriate pages: Hurry and Failure fear.

There is a whole scale of expressions of others that can be interpreted as acknowledgment but let’s make one thing clear: if you are desperately looking for something your focus is totally on it. You pick up on it much earlier than others who are not focused on it and also you notice more the absence of it. That makes you more vulnerable and sensitive to the presence or absence of acknowledgment. It is good for you to be aware of that.

Acknowledgment manifests itself in a variety of ways, all the way from a benevolent look in the eye of another person to extensive praise (compliments) – and many actions and behaviors in between.

It is interesting to note that acknowledgment only seems to be of value and interpreted as ‘valuable acknowledgment’ when bestowed by a person who is considered (by you and/or others) ‘superior’ to you. That distinction can be based on society’s values or on the opinion of a person you consider adequate to make that judgment. It’s important for you to realize that. My experience is, having gone through the whole spectrum of being addicted to approval, that it counted only as important to me when the acknowledgment would come from people that in my mind were perceived as ‘authority’ figures.

Why and how were those specific people selected by my mind? That is the question. The answer to this question is very personalized. I say that because I recently realized that this perception (of them as authority figures) wasn’t even my own perception, but still the internalized opinion of my parents about who was an authority figure! Through pleasing the authority figures I was indirectly and ‘virtually’ pleasing my parents, which then would give me a ‘feel-good-as-a-Substitute Sense of Self‘, the closest I can get to feeling acknowledged as a valuable person.

The point here is that, in order to eliminate those criteria that hold us prisoner; we need to make sure whether this perception is our own or someone else’s. Here it is of the utmost importance to become aware that “we need to think with our own mind and feel with our own hearts!” Not only do we get then different criteria based on our own values but it is also an indication that we ‘were not present in our lives in the first place’. In short the dependency on other people (which kind of people you have to figure out and why those specific people) is a sign or symptom that we ‘are not present.’ This means that we are functioning through the Substitute-Sense–of-Self-oriented System.

So, noticing that we use someone else’s criteria, if we use that awareness well, enables us to make a different decision and hurry back into our own life, our own body, our own circumstances and time of life!

We were living (again) for a Substitute Sense of Self instead of being there with and for our Real Self. A nasty situation, as it means “we are missing out on our own life while our time passes!” That is the real trouble we are in. The real trouble is not our so-strongly experienced ‘failing to please that particular person in front of us,’ but the fact that by using those ‘pleasing criteria’ we ‘are not’ but skip our own life.

The reason why this pull towards acknowledgment is so strong is described partly in the first page on Acknowledgment where I explain how the need for recognition is like a ‘Black Hole‘ that was never filled in any way in early childhood.

We can get a clearer view of what ‘acknowledgment’ in all its manifestations actually stands for, for us as a person with a Lack of Natural Sense of Self, if we have appropriately filled in and looked at the Motivation Check.

We can see now that ‘acknowledgment’ is one of the Hidden Agenda or Goals. If we filled in appropriately  ‘Identified Patterns of My Indirect Motivation‘ we can see what that acknowledgment actually represents to us individually.

In my own case I see that it stands for:

–       a Substitute Sense of Self

–       the virtual parental/caregiver’s approval, acceptance which equals literally being seen and heard, having a voice (in the family), having a face (in the family), which is generalized to the rest of the world and the rest of your life…

–       to belong

–       to be part of

–       to feel safe

–       to feel allowed to be

–       to feel alive as opposed to being ignored by the parent initially because the parent had a different (narcissistic) agenda

–       being taken into account

–       Not being ‘a bodily ghost’

–       Not experiencing ‘humiliation’

–       ‘existing’

–       Not being ridiculed

I want to draw your attention to the concept of Fear of Failure   that is very much related to the need for acknowledgment, and is basically a form of ‘Fear of Annihilation.’  Explore the linked page on Fear of Failure.

Another aspect in the struggle to get acknowledgment is the stress from ‘hurrying’.  More is said about this on the linked page.

To read more about how to heal yourself from the need for acknowledgment (or the need to please) look into these pages under Recovery:

‘The reasons why I can be free’

‘Hold on to your (newly Restored) Sense of Self’

Where the reader goes next….