I guess I'm in a pattern of seeking approval. Why do I do this? Why do I need to feel like a complete stranger has to like me for in order for me to feel comfortable with my life and myself.
This is a normal and natural quest. We struggle with this especially when we are younger. If we experienced any abuse or abandonment or rejection (who hasn't) then it is made much worse. We can gradually deal with this by learning how to make friendships.
How many of you really care what others think?
Again, this is a normal and natural thing for us. The question is, how can we not be ruled by this. For me it is still in process. I have had to work with a T on abuse issues and relearning some of the issues of a difficult childhood.
The first thing I figured out was I had lost the essence of who "I" am, and I wasn't comfortable in my own skin.
This has been a biggie for me. I have had to relearn who I am because of horrendous abuse when I was 12. At an age when young guys should be starting to learn who they are, I suffered an enormous setback. My T has called it "depersonalization disorder". It has taken a bunch of counseling to make progress.
I also have watched movies and read special books as therapy to reconstruct this thing of who I am (or who I was at the time of the abuse). Movies connect with the visual and emotional apparatus in my brain and help me see who I was at age 12.
Movies which I found helpful (you might need a different list) are: Empire of the Sun
, Flight of the Innocent
, I'm Not Scared
, Where Eskimos Live
and Father and Scout
. I got all of these from Netflix.
Some of the books I found helpful are: Last Days of Summer
, The Tender Bar
, Twice Adopted
. None of these books are depressing.