I want to take a minute this week to welcome all of our new readers. We are in Week 5 of our study of the book The Search for Significance. If you would like to join us, grab a book and follow along. We’d love to have you! All the previous weeks’ posts are linked under the “Online Bible Studies” tab and “Search for Significance.” Those who have fallen behind might also find this link helpful *wink.*
My name is Tara, and I am an approval addict. The desire for approval and fear of rejection has controlled me for most of my life. Growing up I lived in constant fear of rejection from my Dad and did everything I could to win his approval. I would try to keep the house clean, get good grades, behave, but nothing worked. I was still the brunt of his sarcasm, yelling, and fits of anger. Though I’ve experienced most of the effects of rejection McGee lists, anger was my primary one.
Change came slowly, this week I read through my answers from when I first read The Search for Significance and I see how much my addiction to approval used to control me. Even as a young adult, my Dad’s rejection still had a huge effect on me. I was still addicted to his approval, even though we lived several hours apart. I wanted to succeed in my job, keep my house spotless, and exceed in Grad school all to gain his approval. This desire for approval even affected my relationship with my husband.
At that time we almost didn’t make it. Our problems weren’t only due to my addiction to approval, but it certainly didn’t help. If my hubby showed even the slightest hint of disapproval, I fell apart and over reacted. I wasn’t confident enough in myself to detach my worth from the criticism and to at times say, “That isn’t an okay way to treat me.”
The truths learned in this chapter and in the rest of the book helped me tremendously in these relationships. From Chapter 5 I just how serious my approval addiction was and began to learn how to gain confidence in who God says I am. This confidence gave me the ability to not take rejection to heart and to set healthy boundaries.
I’m sad to say my Dad did not respond well to the changes in me and never choose to grow and change himself, so for my health and that of my family, we are estranged. On the other hand, as I grew and changed my husband did, too. Our marriage is now better than I ever could have imagined at the beginning of this journey. This January we’re even going on a ski trip back to the place where our healing began 9 years ago.
Despite my growth, the fear of rejection does still haunts me at times. Now that my children are in school, I find myself fearing rejection from the other moms, but then I remind myself in Christ I’m approved of by God and no one else matters. Reminding myself of this truth has really helped me to be more welcoming to others around me.
Just this past week, I was able to stop and talk to another school mom and learned that she’s someone I would like to get to know better. If I had still been caught up in my addiction and fear of rejection, I probably wouldn’t have approached her at all.
The road from approval addict isn’t an easy one, but it is one well worth the journey. It has the power to not only bring healing to you and your relationships, but to your family as well.
This week join us as we being Chapter 5: “Approval Addict.” We’ll take an Approval Addict test to find out just how strong of a hold this addiction has on us, and we’ll learn about the effect of the fear of rejection on our lives.
As we begin let’s discuss: Think of a situation in your life (recent or distant past) where someone rejected you. How did you feel about it? How did you respond?
If you’d like daily encouragement and accountability please join us in our OverACup private Facebook study group.