Most popular! I want your vote!

On my WonderWeekly, I wrote about the lure and sparkle of gold stars. We want approval. We crave recognition.

But how much does it really give us? It’s a sort of subtraction stew. The more you get the more you want.

At what point do we…oh, *I* get over it? i’m trying to get over it.

But I see it in other people and I realize what a trap it is.

This scenario happens so often:

Hey, Jane! I like your hair.

You do? I don’t really like it. Do you think it’s okay?


Ashley, your house is beautiful! Thank you for having us over.

No, it’s not. I think your house is so much better.

I have started to respond to these ladies, “Do you want me to agree with you? Do you want me to tell you that you are right, that your hair/house/project is crap? Why are you arguing with me? Are you calling me a liar?”

Women seem especially susceptible to this error.

We want to be voted in by the WHOLE group as homecoming queen.

We want to be recognized, stand out of the crowd, and be pointed out as special and extraordinary.

But I’m discovering that the only person who counts when deciding who is special is the self.  I have to tell myself what I have permission to do. I have to tell myself that my hair looks good, and that I have the right to ask for that particular day off or even that salary in the job interview

It counts far more than when someone else give it to me. When I recognize myself, that’s when the gears engage and I can get things rolling.

I dont’ want to be dependent on someone else to believe in myself. It’s time for me to get over that.

I like being appreciated. Who doesnt’ love a compliment? But I have to have my motivation engine inside me, not located somewhere I can’t always get to.

One thought on “Most popular! I want your vote!

  1. Hey Murphy, I think there’s two different thoughts here. I agree with you that craving other people’s acceptance or approval is a futile effort. You can’t please all the people all the time, and other such adages. But I think in the two scenarios you wrote you’re misconstruing the other person’s intention. I’m a very self-deprecating person, and I apologize all the time, and I almost never accept a compliment outright. But I don’t do this ‘cuz I really think I suck or that I’m undeserving, or even that I’m fishing for more compliments. I think a lot of people misunderstand that. I act like the people in your scenario for several reasons: one, I think it’s boring to just accept a compliment outright (“That’s such a pretty necklace” “Thank you.” or “That’s such a pretty necklace” “Thanks! I think it kind of makes me look like a witch doctor.” which one is more interesting?); two, it makes me feel conceited to just accept a compliment; and three, I think most people throw out compliments like that more as conversation starters and it’s a way of keeping the conversation going.
    People ‘correct me’ all the time, or tell me not to say mean things about myself, or don’t apologize, but I think it’s just ‘cuz they don’t really understand my intention. Sorry to write so much in a comment, but I thought I’d represent for the self-deprecating!