Ep. 48 - Freedom From The Approval Craving Syndrome

In this episode, we will be looking at How always craving the approval of others can limit you, different ways it shows up in a person’s life and how to overcome it. In order words, after this episode, you will be able to easily catch yourself when you are desperate for approval and find the strength to move away from this people-pleasing traits in order to fully live you are loved. like Jesus.

Don’t forget this is part of a series on breaking limits.  limiting thought that may have been hindering you from becoming who God made you. I told a story of how the stomach ulcer I had pointed me to many limiting beliefs in the last episode and how I got freedom. If you haven’t listened to it, you should, it’s episode 47. I will add a link to it in the show notes.

In this episode, I am trusting that our darling father will open your eyes to see how this might have been limiting you and how to become free.

Now If this is the first time you are listening to me, I want to say welcome, it’s always a joy for me to be a part of your day. I am sure you may wonder what gives me the right to share this? I was there before and trust me, I am still a recovering people pleaser. Thank God for The abundant life I received from Jesus, and for the word. I am becoming more like Jesus inside out. So I want you to relax, it’s going to be fun.

What is ACS? Find other people definition authentic

This is a situation when someone craves the approval of other people or person, so much that it affects their behaviour and emotions. When a person mind is consumed by the approval they got or did not. Many times this is also reflected in attention seekers. They become uncomfortable or feel unappreciated when they are not the centre of attention

We all thrive better in good relationships, we were actually built to relate to each other and we actually thrive when we are praised. It’s great to get feedback from other people that are special to us, people we respect and value their opinion.

However, the problem comes in when your emotion or behaviour changes because you got the approval you want or did not. When your performance goes to the extreme or becomes zero because of approval.  Gary’s example.

Now, why is this important?

If one of your desires is to be all you were designed to be or you want to enjoy the life of God that is in you, then you must pay attention to this. You want to pay attention to your heart.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

Proverbs 4:23 NLT


This approval craving syndrome keeps people in mediocrity. They use most of their thoughts to think about approval from others instead of thinking thought it hat will grow their capacity. They get easily frustrated, stressed and unfulfilled. Because the approval they want is not coming. They usually have issues with self-esteem and confidence.

These people can sense that they have greatness inside them but they are also waiting for others to approve them before they can boldly live that life of purpose.

They send out a message and they don’t get a response in the next few minutes they start to think maybe I shouldn’t have sent it, oh maybe she is mad at me now. Some others won’t even sent out the message because they think no-one will like it. So they keep the grace that God has put inside them buried away. They see the awesome work that others are doing and they think there is no way I can bring mine out, mine is just simply rubbish.

What are some symptoms?

Here are a few behaviours that show you are an approval craver:

You pay insincere compliments to gain approval

You are sad and even mad when someone disagrees with them

You change your position because a stronger person appears to disapprove

You fail to complain when you are treated wrongly

You ask for permission when there is no need for it

You apologize in advance and say sorry even when no-one has complained about a wrong they did.

You say yes to things you don’t really want to do

You want to be all for everyone

You may even gossip about others to gain approval of another person

You even go the route of bad behaviour in order to conform to others around you

You want compliments so bad that if they don’t get it the may become upset

You pretend to know what you don’t really know to appear smart

Now I believe most people have a degree of this syndrome, some have little of it or have learnt to not depend on others for approval, but others have huge doses of this syndrome.

Let me also say at this point that seeking other people’s approval is a sin. I know someone you may be thinking now you are taking it too far, but wait let me explain.

Tell the story of a person:

So let’s say you have a friend, a very close friend if you are not yet married and if you are married your spouse. So your friend’s birthday is approaching and so you keep trying to see what you can get for him. It took you some time, but finally, you found it, the perfect gift. You wrapped it up and present him. On the day of, as he opens the gifts wrap, another friend saw the Gift and made a very bad comment about how the Gift was such a cheap gift, and that she knows where to get a better Gift, and thought the Gift was really bad. Then your friend or your spouse looks at you and says, why did you get me a cheap gift? Why didn’t you give me the best of the best?

How would you feel?

How will you feel if right in front of you, he trashes it?

How will you feel if every day after that he never stops to talk about how bad the Gift was?

I suppose you wouldn’t like it. Yeah, that’s similar to what we do when we live our lives daily hunting for other people’s approval. When what people say or don’t say or what people do or don’t do affects our behaviour or emotions.

I also remember how I used to hit the refresh button every minute to get feedback and responses. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love to get feedback from people, and I also love criticisms but I am no longer going to allow that to dominate my day, I will move forward whether I get approval or not. I will do what I think God wants me to do. I will not waste the grace of God in my life and you shouldn’t too.

Also, do not take seriously everything that is said, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you, for you also know that you too have cursed others many times.”



“Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?”

Isaiah 2:22 NLT


How do you get freedom?

So how do you overcome this approval craving syndrome?
Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matth 11:28

First, you need to Be Aware of these and other tendencies, next you Face it and Gain Real Approval from God.

I created a tool to help you through the process. You can download your own copy at olusobanjo.com/breakinglimts Go and get your copy.

This is not just a read the scriptures exercise, oh no. Freedom comes when you know and truly know the truth. When instead of the lies you had believed you now begin to live your life based on the truth of God’s word.

So I want to encourage you to check your heart, track your thoughts, do you have the approval craving syndrome? Trust God to helps you. Don’t forget to get the tool I created for this purpose at olusobanjo.com/breakinglimits.

Let us pray, lord we know the thief comes to kill steal and destroy, but you cane to give us life. Lord you bring life to every deadness in us.

Coming up we will discuss another syndrome I call the Lazy thinker syndrome. Don’t miss it.

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6 thoughts on “Ep. 48 – Freedom From The Approval Craving Syndrome

  1. Thanks you for this message Mama GO, well received.
    My question is around flattering people, I find that I often see the best in people and as a result, I speak to them from that perspective in my bid to encourage them to be the best they can be. I do this even when I may be feeling like saying the opposite to them maybe because of a situation that arose or something they did. Does this make me a people pleaser? I anticipate your response.

    1. Thanks for stopping by my lovely Mama C, and for your well thought out question. I think your act of seeing greatness in others and telling them is a huge blessing to this world. The truth is that many people don’t see the best in themselves, so we need more people like you, that will inspire others to be all they were designed to be, so my dear, pls. keep it up!

      With regards to whether you are a people pleaser, I have discovered that many of us have these people-pleasing and approval craving tendencies, its what the world we live in is built on. However, the fact that you are making efforts to know means that you want to give the best to the people you serve. Sincere and honest comments help people better than flattery ones. It’s easy to flatter people (easy to tell them the opposite of what you are thinking of them) but the results – quick love but not lasting.

      What I will recommend is that you make efforts to start tracking your thoughts as you help people. It doesn’t matter where you are now, what matters is to move from wherever you are to a place where your comments to people are truly honest and sincere. This is how God challenged me a while ago. I started to notice that some of my comments (though mostly true) were simply to make the recipient feel happy with me.

      So what do I do now?
      1. I am learning to listen more than talk (I listen to the person, and to God) even in situations that I thought I could have said something that I thought was very important; I listen,
      2. I am learning to genuinely think about what’s great about the person and appreciate God for it, I am learning not to criticize people in my mind but to understand their viewpoint. This helps to think clearly about them even when they do wrong, I really want to understand them better.
      3. Then I speak out from the rich and wholesome thought in my heart about the person.
      This moved me from trying to say something good quickly to saying something honestly and sincerely and it helps the person to believe what I am saying about them more which then leads to more results than simply flattering them.
      You may notice that this system would work well with people that I see often; for random people I meet once in a while, I would still just bless them the way I feel led to, but I also try to be as honest and sincere as I possibly can. Note that this is a work in progress for me.

      So my dear, continue to make a difference in the lives of others, it pays. Thanks again!

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