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The need for social approval and its effect on self-esteem

Study guide

When a child is not accepted into society at an early age and is often ridiculed or indifferent by others, he or she will have many psychological problems. Such a child will question his values ​​and competencies, will constantly deal with negative emotions such as worry and anxiety, will be unaware of himself, and will look at himself and his decisions with skepticism. These are all consequences of not being accepted in society. On the other hand, social approval will give children a chance and boost their self-confidence. Such children are less self-doubting and rarely experience negative emotions such as worry and frustration. In the following, we will examine the need for social approval and its impact on individuals’ self-esteem and various aspects of this issue. be with us.

General classification of people in the community based on their approach to dealing with others

In a general classification, people are divided into three different subgroups:

  • Those who, in most cases, seek the satisfaction of others and whose opinion matters to them;
  • Those who do not care about or care less about what others think of themselves;
  • Those who try to please others and take care of themselves and create a balance between the two.

Most of us fall into the third subgroup; That is, we seek to satisfy others, and we care about our inner feelings and thoughts, and we try to keep ourselves satisfied.

Community treatment of people without the need for social approval

There is a need for social approval that sustains cohesive societies. Those who dance to their own instrument and do not care what others think of them will only be accepted as members of society if society needs them in the first place and secondly, they themselves want to meet this need of society. Now, if they do not want to meet this need, either society rejects them or they voluntarily withdraw from the collective scene and tend to isolation.

The tolerance of society with this group of people who oppose rationalization is not based on a clear and fixed method and style; Sometimes he tolerates them and sometimes he does not. That is why most of these people are motivated to gain social approval and social acceptance.

Research on social validation

Years ago, researchers hypothesized that people who desperately needed high social approval and self-esteem would do more work than others. They prefer to pretend to look successful and progressive; In this way, they do not put themselves at risk of being rejected in society or rejected.

Further research has shown that women are more likely than men to display such appearances. This may be related to the expectations of women in different societies; That is, women with high self-esteem are more likely than men to be successful and hopeful in society.

Need for social approval over the years

Process changes require social approval over the years

Measures to assess the need for social approval are designed to address the key to how well individuals adhere to custom in dealing with others.

In recent years, researchers have noticed that the need for social approval has changed over the years. Going back to the early 1970s, we find that at that time, people cared less about what others thought of themselves and showed their reality in society (their perceptions and feelings about the world around them without pretending to be satisfied). Others expressed).

Thus, in those years, unlike now when high self-esteem was closely linked to the need for social approval, individuality to the point of narcissism was given importance in order to gain more self-esteem; An individual who could not even adhere to the customs or traditions of society and a kind of deconstruction could be seen in it.

Factors affecting the need for social approval


As we get older, the need for social approval to gain self-esteem decreases; Because the more experience we gain, the less anxiety and worries we have and the more confident we become. Therefore, the need for social approval and its role on self-esteem is felt most in the early years of childhood.

Of course, this does not mean that being rejected by others or facing their indifference is completely harmless. Regardless of the issue of age, what we need to consider, and more important than anything else, is what resources a person relies on most to gain self-esteem. If it is the opinions of others and their acceptance that give him self-esteem, the need for social approval throughout his life will play a decisive role for him.

Those who are more exposed to the comments and disapproving views of people in the community and are less accepted may also turn to social interaction in general to protect themselves. This issue is sometimes pushed to the point of isolation.

Other factors

Factors affecting the need for social approval

Age is not the only factor influencing the need for social approval, and other factors also affect it: cultural factors, the nature of society, generational influences, and institutionalized characteristics of individuals.

Also, the characteristics of the group or group that a person decides to be a member of will play a decisive role in how he or she behaves; For example, a group that is more tolerant and cares about the individuality of each individual and the unique characteristics of each will have a much different effect than a group that needs to follow its members unconditionally.

The last word

The influence of others on our feelings and thoughts about ourselves cannot be underestimated. Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to painting a picture about ourselves.

Of course, we must remember that gaining or raising self-esteem is a time-consuming process and occurs over many years, in line with our personal growth and development, and does not rely solely on the need for social approval. Achieving this goal may be difficult and not everyone can do it, but at least to maintain our mental health, we must strive to achieve this goal; No matter what the outcome.

what is your opinion? To what extent do you think social approval and acceptance in society affect self-esteem? Do you care about satisfying others, or are you more interested in expressing your true perceptions and feelings about the world around you, and above all, do you want to be satisfied with yourself? In the comments section, you can tell us and your readers about your views and experiences.

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Warning! This article is for educational purposes only and you should consult your doctor or specialist to use it. more information




The need for social approval and its effect on self-esteem

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