Happiness - Anxiety and Your Dire Need to Be Loved, Approved, and Accepted
Anxiety manifests itself particularly strongly when we believe that—in order for us to find happiness in our lives—we absolutely need to be loved, approved, and accepted by some other people. But where is the evidence to support the existence of such a belief? Is it consistent with reality?
Anxiety manifests itself particularly strongly when we believe that—in order for us to find happiness in our lives—we absolutely need to be loved, approved, and accepted by some other people. And as our happiness is ultimately what we care about most—regardless of how each of us defines this word—it is clear that anything that seems to threaten an element we see as absolutely necessary to our happiness will trigger a burst of anxiety proportional to the impending danger or inconvenience.
Let’s face it: If we think we absolutely need the love, approval, and acceptance of anyone to live happily, we almost have everything that is required for us to experience cruel and repeated bouts of anxiety. In other words, whenever this love, approval, and acceptance will seem to be threatened, the unenjoyable emotion of anxiety will manifest itself.
But what is love? That seems to be a very good question to ask ourselves!
First and foremost, as per Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, love is simply but surely an enjoyable emotion. When someone loves us, it is plainly because our characteristics—physical or psychological traits—suit his/her tastes. For example, we like Camembert cheese because this cheese appeals to us and suits our tastes. Similarly, if we do not like broccoli and reject it, it is solely because broccoli has characteristics—flavor, texture, odor, cost—that do not match our tastes.
Now—you and I already know that it is impossible for a human being to be loved, approved, and accepted all the time by everyone. In fact, as tastes and preferences vary from one person to another, we would incessantly have to adapt ourselves to other people’s various tastes and preferences in order to be loved, approved, and accepted by all. And although crowds of people are trying ad nauseam to achieve this goal, we are forced to admit this is a futile aim—beyond the bounds of possibility—alas, it is!
As a matter of fact, some characteristics—such as age, sex, physical appearance, and psychological traits—are impossible to change. Certain other characteristics are inordinately difficult and painful to change. In addition, certain psychological characteristics we might want to change may, unexpectedly, escape our control.
Now that we have decided to abandon the unrealistic goal of being loved, approved, and accepted by everyone, we can still feel bouts of anxiety if we continue to hold the belief that we absolutely need the love, approval, and acceptance of certain people in order to be happy. As a matter of fact, not only does everything change, but the characteristics we demonstrate when we are 20 years old may not be present anymore at the age of 40—despite the help of cosmetic surgery. On top of that, the tastes and preferences of others are constantly changing and evolving with time—just like ours!—and what pleases them in December may very well displease them in June!
Finally, how can we cope with all of this and spare ourselves from feeling these oppressive doses of anxiety?
A part of the problem is solved when we fully realize that we really do not need the uninterrupted, permanent, and exclusive love, approval, and acceptance of anyone to be happy. And to achieve that, it is particularly useful for us to understand the various meanings of the word "need" and to draw specific distinctions between those different meanings. That is what I suggest we explore together in a future article.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chantal Beaupre is an Emotional Mastery Coach, a Naturopath, an Independent Licensed LifeSuccess Consultant, and a business partner of Bob Proctor—as seen in "The Secret" movie. Her passion is to provide men and women who are ready to raise their level of happiness and improve the quality of their lives with practical tools, challenging ideas, resources, and helpful information through the power of the Internet.
Chantal's newest eBook, "It's The Thought That Counts!," co-authored with Ali Brown, Ariane de Bonvoisin, Eva Gregory, Guy Finley, Jeanna Gabellini, Jim Donovan, Dr. Joe Rubino, Kathleen Gage, Mary Allen, and a host of other leading experts in the happiness arena can be downloaded for FREE on the Web.Claim your FREE copy of this eBook NOW!