I wonder–how much of the human experience happens when we are trying to please other people?
How much of our lives are spent trying to get someone–maybe a specific person, a parent, a sibling, a “friend”, maybe anyone to say “Corianne, (or whatever your name happens to be) you are a wonderful person just the way you are. You don’t have to change anything.”? With the only “but” that may follow being “but if you do, I’m okay with that too.”
We seek for this acceptance by changing ourselves. We attempt to conform to the impossible ideal of beauty posed to us by Hollywood, the makeup industry, and professional photo-retouchers, who tell us that if we aren’t young and beautiful, we aren’t worth anything.
Or perhaps we go the other way, and make a big show about not caring, while secretly longing for someone to say “Hey, this person doesn’t care what other people think, I like that.”
We may end up doing the right things for the wrong reason. We go to church to be seen, and to see others. We go to school or choose a career to please a parent. We are friendly and outgoing in an attempt to get other people to like us.
And it never works. Desperation is repulsive to those whose attention you actually want, while it attracts those who will take advantage of, use and abuse those who just want to be known as a valid human being.
Knowing that we–I do this doesn’t seem to make a difference either. Knowing that I am chasing approval only makes me more depressed, more isolated, and more vulnerable to the criticism that comes with life.
And still, I can’t stop.