Seeking the approval of others
When we are deciding upon something, especially when it involves a serious issue, we occasionally seek the opinion of others. This is natural since there is wisdom in obtaining the advice of those clo...
When we are deciding upon something, especially when it involves a serious issue, we occasionally seek the opinion of others. This is natural since there is wisdom in obtaining the advice of those close to us.
However, when we make decisions, they should be entirely our own. Relying constantly on other people to make decisions for us erodes our ability to think for ourselves. In spite of this, some would rather depend on others in making choices for them, possibly out of fear of making mistakes while at the same time having someone else to blame if these decisions turn out to be wrong.
Still others make choices merely to please the people around them. The approval and appreciation of family and friends become the paramount consideration. However, by doing this, an individual is only making other people happy. And what happens when different people desire different things for the person seeking their approval? Will this not create confusion?
We cannot please everybody. If our happiness depends upon making others happy, then what will happen if we fail to do so? We may never become happy because there will always be someone who does not approve of what we are doing. By being people-pleasers, we are placing our lives at the mercy of the opinions of others.
Our decisions should be geared towards our own fulfillment. Our choices should not depend on others. We can seek people’s counsel, but ultimately when we do decide, the responsibility should be ours alone. We are bound to make mistakes once in a while. But by making these mistakes, we can learn why they were wrong and avoid making them again in the future.
Confidence in our decision making skills is strengthened by trusting our own judgment. Our capacity to think critically and analytically is fostered by making our own choices. And when we use our freedom to choose, our one true goal in all our decisions should be our own happiness and fulfillment.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frederick Fabella, PhD is a research director and a graduate and undergraduate professor in the Philippines. He is an editorial board member of the IRP international research journal and a Fellow of the Royal Institution Singapore. He is the author of Transcendence: Essays For Personal Reflection. His blog can be found at Meanings and Perceptions.