KRUNCHTime: The Need for Approval
I am back (my apologies for the delay- it seems I am HORRID at multi-tasking and school is kicking my butt) and it is time for KRUNCHTime. For those of you who don’t know me well, which, considering this ultimate level of fame I have found myself in recently (none at all), most of you will, KRUNCH was a nickname that I found evolved over time in multiple settings independent of one another. Some friends in middle school/ high school called me this, and then others who were not affiliated at all to school found themselves calling me that as well. So, that being said, we are calling these KRUNCHTime Discussions. Enter in first discussion:
By the way…I didn’t end up going to Costa Rica.
I wanted to start this KRUNCHTime entry because I was taking a shower and stumbled upon this thought: My boyfriend brought this to my attention a few days ago when I absolutely NEEDED to ask my mom about a trip to Costa Rica for a yoga retreat. He said to me, “Why are you asking her when you know what she is going to say, and why is that going to change what your decision is?” I wasn’t sure what to say, other than to defend myself with the response “Well I just want to know her opinion”. To many of you, this may seem like a total excuse…and it is. The need for approval is something that we as humans have integrated into the complexity of our emotions because at the very simplistic level, we are afraid of rejection and making risky decisions.
I am going to make the classic caveman analogy right now and say this- as cavemen/ hunters and gatherers, we would veer away from making risky decisions because that could have easily resulted in death or your head in a saber tooth tiger’s mouth. It is because of this evolutionary standard that we still do not feel comfortable with making risky decisions. After all, we wouldn’t want to be eaten by a sabertooth tiger right? Now, our threats have changed, and all around the globe there is a new variety of what a human would call a ‘threat’. However, what I see through my lens is our inaptitude to progress forward on an instinctive fight/flight level. Our emotions are STILL prehistoric aka dinosaurs could have probably progressed faster than us. Why are our emotions stuck? I ask myself this when I feel like I need approval for something. They are stuck because they are encompassed within a fear of rejection. It is as if myself and society will do anything to search for a YES despite the amount of NO’s.
But, is it possible that one can live without the fear of rejection, and without this need for approval?
Let’s start off by discussing the need for approval and where it comes from. From a philosophical and psychological standpoint, much can be said about the formation of the ego, and how it develops in our early childhood development stages where we, the babies, act upon ourselves, based on fleeting feelings that were turned into emotions, that were then turned into actions. These actions can either be supported or denied, by the parents, and you are often either rewarded for your actions, or punished (which could mean a multitude of things but just typically told the word- NO). The reward versus punishment scenario, as discussed in Eastern Body, Western Mind, A.Judith, introduces a type of gratification-embarrassment balance beam where our egos are then formed predicated upon how much gratification we receive and how much our actions are either noticed or gone unobserved. So-indeed, our ego is born based upon these childhood circumstances, but also can be affected as our acts throughout life receive similar patterns of this gratification or embarrassment (or both).
Has social media disabled us from ever ridding ourselves of the pleasure of NOT having the need for approval? There is something to be said, right, about those times that you have been so deeply immersed in the moment, that you forget wanting approval in the first place? Not to say that wanting approval is bad, but for the purposes of this KRUNCHTime blog entry, I wanted to propose an argument that it is damaging and fragmenting our ego, and thereby, our society. Has social media, its benefits aside, risen to the occasion as our most hated celebrity, crushing our egos and ruining our dreams? Or in a much less dramatic sense-has it hijacked our ability to suppress the fight or flight response inside us that armours us from having fear of being rejected, and therefore the need for approval?
There is no clear answer to this question, but something that I often think about as a ‘progressing’ society. What are we progressing towards, and if we are progressing, then is the turnover of our minds to the complex social media network all part of how we roll the dice in our own game of life? What does progression mean, and if it means what we all seem to define it as, then will there be a futuristic society without the need for approval and instead the internal discovery of gratification that every human is seeking for themselves but in the wrong place?
All questions to ask ourselves, and comment below for KRUNCHTime: The Need for Approval