Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Love and Closeness Challenge #22: Approval

Approval is something that humans want from other humans. It's a big universal need. We all want to feel that what we are doing is okay to others. Maybe we don't care so much what strangers think of us, but it's likely that it matters a great deal what loved ones think. Approval is defined as the action of officially agreeing with something or accepting something as satisfactory. In other words, when you approve of someone you are saying that you agree with whatever it is that they are doing. You feel and express to them that who they are and what they do fulfills your expectations. They are good and acceptable and what they do is good and acceptable.
This is really fundamental in building close and loving relationships because when people don't feel approved of they feel rejected. Rejection is a very difficult emotion for most of us to deal with and we will avoid the painful source of that rejection at all costs. Obviously, you don't want to be that source. Focusing on not rejecting another person will not get you where you want to be. Focusing on approving of them, their feelings, their actions, their ideas, their decisions etc. will create good feelings and as you know, good feelings is always the goal.

The challenge today is to sincerely approve of your loved ones. Step outside yourself and your limited way of thinking and understand that there are as many ways of being and doing as there are people on earth. Your way is not the right way and the other person's way is not wrong because there is no right and there is no wrong. Try jumping in the other person's way of viewing the world and know that from where they are standing, what they are doing is the right thing. Know this first and then ask yourself the following questions:
* What does my loved one do every day that I like and agree with?
* What does he/she do that I feel that I can fully, sincerely support?
* What do I feel my loved one does that could use more recognition from myself or others?
* What do I admire about him/her? 
* What's important to him/her and why?
* What is one belief that he/she has that I agree with?
* What is one value that we share? 
* What is something that he/she does that I'm not crazy about that I could look at from his perspective and accept as right for him/her? How is it truly right for him/her at this stage of his/her evolution?
Now, to put this into very simple action, pick the one answer that evokes the most sincere feelings of warmth or connection or appreciation etc. and verbalize it to your loved ones. You don't need to go into flowery detail, just tell them in a short, sincere sentence how you truly feel about something that you approve of about them or what they do. This makes any human feel great, we all like to feel like we are okay, that our loved ones feel good about who we are and what we do, but none of us just know this. We need to be told and shown. 

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