In May I posted my People Pleasers Anonymous blog, referencing Faith Salie’s book, “Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring Too Much”. I was more than a little delighted to read about her penchant for people pleasing because, like Faith, I too suffer from the same plight. Salie says, “Instead of trying to be a “perfectionist” or “people pleaser”, it’s better to be honest as an approval junkie, someone who is vulnerable and human enough to admit that they care about affirmation from others”. So, after admitting my approval addiction, I embedded a survey link in my post to determine whether I was a lone ranger on this people-pleasing prairie or if there were other like minded pleasers. My husband and I own a market research firm and conduct polls for a living. Thus, I’m sensitive to sample sizes and questionnaire language. The questions used in the survey were tested by psychologists who are experts in this field Nevertheless, I was pretty surprised to receive 207 responses. The target audience for my Be Brave. Lose the Beige blog is women between the ages of 40-80. Half of my survey respondents were between 40-60; the other half between 60-80. Thus, we had a fairly good representation of Lady Boomers.
A couple of weeks ago, I literally felt a tickle bubble in my throat as I watched Faith Salie’s segment on CBS Sunday Morning. Faith has written a book entitled “Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring Too Much”. Well the title alone reached through the television set and shook my shoulders. You see, I too am an approval junkie and felt gratitude enveloping me as I realized somebody as beautiful, smart, and cool as Faith Salie experiences the same penchant for people pleasing as I do. Salie’s book details her uphill battle developing self-confidence, and examines her pursuit of validation. Was I looking in the mirror? At 62 I still struggle with self-confidence and the need for validation from people I admire. Like Salie, I hang with some pretty smart, accomplished people who inspire me. Do I want their approval? Umm, like totally! It sounds a little loony, but two people whose opinions matter enormously are my two children’s. I become a virtual Gumby around them bending over backwards to be the perfect parent. Instead of trying to be a “perfectionist” or “people pleaser”, Salie says, “it’s better to be honest as an approval junkie, someone who is vulnerable and human enough to admit that they care about affirmation from others”. Ok, I’ve been pretty honest here about my vulnerabilities. I want to hear from you. Do you consider yourself a people pleaser? A family and friend pleaser? Perhaps you are a recovering approval junkie. I would love it if you would take a short survey on this topic by clicking here. I’ll report back on the results.