As humans we have basic needs and one of these is to feel a sense of approval. This is one need that must be met early in our lives. Somehow though through misunderstandings, misperceptions etc. most of us feel disapprova
l and this sense that we’re not quite “cutting it” runs through our life. The upshot of this is we will find ourselves seeking approval wherever we can get it.
Most of the time this is unconscious and even when we are aware of this tendency to grasp at approval patterns and behaviors can sneak under our radar and we can believe ourselves to be acting in our authentic empowerment when we are actually manipulating ourselves and being manipulated.
Money and Relationships
A really big arena in which we often find ourselves seeking approval is in relationship. And if we add a couple’s finances into the mix we’ve got a wonderful, confusing (ego loves confusion) ball of wax to get mired in. I count myself among those who have fallen into the trap of seeking approval from my mate within the arena of our finances.
I have recently encountered two couples where the wives needed some money in order to have something that was important to them. It was an authentic desire for each of them however for their husbands it was unimportant. Both women are highly educated and capable of earning significant incomes and in at least one case had been before each chose to stay home with their young children.
One problem we have in this patriarchal society is that earning power is a measure of worth. Whether or not we think that we believe this there is a general underlying belief that if we’re not bringing in as much as our mate we are in some way a lesser individual. We can say all the right words and put on an act that we believe we’re equal in the relationship but when we look deeper most of the time we’ll find we’re not being honest with ourselves.
So, what did these two women do?
After “talking with their husbands” they each decided to put aside their desire for the time being. They say they came to this decision together with their husbands. Both women believe now that they are standing in their power by sticking by this decision. In truth they feel small in their earning power and in seeking approval from their husbands they gave up on their dreams and gave away their personal power.
Ask your self:
How many times have you played out this type of scenario?
Have you sought approval from a parent or a boss in a similar way?
Have you ever been the one from whom approval is sought and managed to have things your way?
I know I’ve played both sides of the coin and ultimately neither role is empowering or authentic. Be honest with yourself and be willing to look at your shadows. When we bring these darker aspects of self out in the open they lose their power over us.