Submitted for your approval ... a commentary from a familiar member of our "Sunday Morning" family, all about her new book "Approval Junkie":
I'm Faith Salie, and I'm an approval junkie.
Let me just get that part out of the way, in full disclosure. Because full disclosure is what my book's about. I write about undergoing an exorcism of sorts to please my ex-husband, trying to win over Bill O'Reilly when I was on his show, and creating no fewer than THREE Curious George birthday cakes for my two-year-old, in case one (or two) didn't work out.
Those are just some of the many, many things I've done for validation.
We live in a culture where it's cool to say, "I don't care what other people think." Kids today have an acronym: "IDGAF" -- which means "I don't give a something-I-can't-say-on-'Sunday Morning.'"
I'm skeptical of people who say they don't care. For most of us, approval feels good, even if we wish we could transcend our hunger for it. A "good job" from your boss, an engagement ring, a Father's Day card, a pat on the back from your therapist.
It's even a developmental milestone. Your kids, at least when they're little, are supposed to want your applause. I clap for my daughter when she eats broccoli, because she gets my approbation, she doesn't get scurvy.
If you watch this show regularly, then you may enjoy my work (Hi, Dad!). If you don't love my work, perhaps you let the ENTIRE WORLD know about it, through tweets or comments online. I try not to read them, but sometimes disapproval is inescapable.
So for folks who proclaim they don't care what anyone else thinks, I suggest they set the bar higher.
I'm an approval junkie not because I live and die by what others think of me, but because I'm lucky enough to work for and with smart people who inspire me. Do I want their approval? Sure, I do!
In a world where so many claim not to care, we could use more people trying hard, more kids eating veggies, more adults writing thank-you notes.
The point is, it's OK to be an approval junkie, if you continue to seek your OWN approval. To stretch yourself, surprise yourself, maybe even occasionally embarrass yourself.
I'm Faith Salie, and I approve this message.
For more info:
- "Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring Too Much" by Faith Salie (Crown Archtype); Also available in eBook and Digital Audio Download formats
Listen to an excerpt from "Approval Junkie" (Note: Some language may not meet with everyone's approval):