An addiction is something that controls people—it is something they feel they cannot live without, or something they feel driven to do in order to relieve pressure, pain, or discomfort of some kind. Someone addicted to drugs, for instance, will do whatever he needs to in order to get another ‘fix’ when he begins to feel uncomfortable.
Approval addiction is much the same, but instead of running to drugs to heal the hurt, those who suffer from it seek people’s approval. When they feel unsure and shaky about themselves, they look for a ‘fix’—they seek out someone to comfort them and reassure them everything is all right and they are acceptable.
Being overly dependent on approval from others, and fearing their disapproval, comes from the belief that others are responsible for our worth.
Pleasing people isn’t hard: It’s impossible. You don’t please God by what you DO. You please God by who ARE. Being is more important that doing. God made you as a human being, not a human doing.
If you are finding your identity in what others think of you, it’s like an Etch A Sketch. You could make a picture, then turn it over and shake it and start over. If you are a people-pleaser, your self-image will always be a changing picture of approval, disapproval, disappointment, and frustration.
God doesn’t use an Etch A Sketch. “He has you engraved on the palms of His hands!” (Isaiah 49:16)