It happened way too many times to get to the point where I finished something and feel like crap because that something was unknown to others.
Though I’ve tried to correct it, in a way it’s still happening. In a way, I’m still looking for others’ approval and have the stupid desire to know that others find something agreeable in my work.
It’s like trying to be friend with everyone. It’s like wanting to satisfy everybody. And the need for doing it is directly connected to how happy I feel about my results.
Happiness should be about myself. And it shouldn’t matter how my work impacts others, but it does. It shouldn’t matter how I see myself in the eyes of others, but it does.
And here I am, in a spot where I try to focus on my happiness without connecting it to others point of view, while trying to deliver value to others through my work so they can improve their lives.
It feels good to have others pay attention to what you do
You may say satisfaction is good overall, but there’s a certain type of satisfaction (somehow incomparable) when it comes to how much others are paying attention to your work.
And the feeling behind it is connected to the standards of the society through those around you. And what they think and feel about what you do.
It’s like trying to become successful just by feeling great in a world where success is measured by how much money you make. Feeling great has nothing to do with how society defines success. For society, feeling great is just a mood and nothing more.
But if you feel great every day, for the rest of your life, it should count as success. Right?
For sure, but only for those who can see past society’s dogma.
And the same thing happens with the satisfaction provided by how much others are paying attention to what you do.
It feels good to have others do it. It truly does. But it will feel great when you’ll be able to move past others’ point of view and do things for your own.
The inability to live on our own
I believe that before we learn how to be ourselves and do something without others’ approval, we are trapped in an environment where we are surrounded by people who are always trying to help us.
It’s in our nature to help the ones who are close to us. And that nature is eventually making us depend on what others have to say about what we do. Even though we may not need help, we feel the need to see, hear and feel that what we do is at least decent in the eyes of others.
It’s been said that we are social creatures and we need others around us. But we shouldn’t surround ourselves with people just because we need their approval.
And I get it. When someone you respect is saying that what you’ve done is great, right at that moment you start feeling amazing about yourself and you carry their words and that emotion with you for a few years, maybe for the rest of your life.
But the same happens when the approval you need isn’t there. And what may have felt like happiness will now feel like sadness.
Instead, you should learn how to search for approval within you.
The impact of your social circle on your happiness
The social circle you get to be in is a lottery result.
It is the sum of your past experiences and how well you were able to develop meaningful relationships inside those experiences. And it is a lottery because you may go to an event and find someone who could be an amazing friend for you in the future, but the fact that you didn’t have more than 5 minutes to talk because you had to go meant that you couldn’t bound properly.
Considering the RNG (random number generator) behind our social circles, it makes me think that the same RNG has a lot to say when it comes to our happiness.
If you are someone who needs the approval of those around you, but you didn’t manage to get surrounded by people who are supportive, you will end up in a place where you either won’t have a social circle or you’ll have a social circle who won’t be supportive. In both cases, if the need for approval is too big, you’ll and up having frustrations.
The social circle you have has a bigger impact on your happiness than you think.
In my case, when I’ve become conscious about how great of a deal it is, I went through a process of removing people from my life and I ended up having only a few. But those who are still here, are the people who are close to a perfect match for what I need, either it’s approval, entertainment, advice or anything else.
The balance between loneliness and happiness
The bigger your social circle is, the less lonely you’re going to feel.
But the bigger your social circle is, the less happy you’re going to feel.
It may feel like it comes down to having to choose between being lonely and happy or having friends and not feeling as happy. But because we don’t really know how to be alone, we’ll end up being alone and not feeling happy.
That being said, where’s the balance?
The balance is something you end up with after experiencing both sides of the story.
You’ll need to have many friends and learn how to deal with the lack of approval if the RNG is not on your side. As much as this, you’ll need to learn how to be alone and not feel sad about it.
Eventually, the experience you’ll get will help you balance and learn how to live without others’ approval and feel happy. And, at the same time, learn how to be alone and do things on your own, like traveling solo.
How to bounce back to your happy place when you are in a bad spot
It will all come with practice, that’s for sure.
But while you’re practicing, remember this one thing.
Happiness, just like sadness, is a feeling. And feelings are not meant to stay forever. They may come and go, but they aren’t always present.