Shame and needing approval

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SharpAndBlunt

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Shame and needing approval
« on: August 18, 2019, 04:55:07 AM »
For me, tied to hypervigilance is a deep need for approval, to avoid shame. People pleasing behaviour, needing approval as validation. I worry, is this so far removed from narcissistic behaviour? I think maybe the injury is similar but the result different. The risk of codependence is high.

Being talked about in the 3rd person like I wasn't present contributed to a weak sense of presence, of being in the room. A sense of learned helplessness that still persists to this day. Being patient with this is the hardest thing of all - to accept this is the way I was made. Massive shame over innocuous things, things I couldn't predict and had no way of knowing about. A terrible persistent fear that I am about to be unforgivably wrong, usually about something childish and harmless.

I'm glad I can recognise all this damage in myself. I'm glad I can see it's not true. I'm annoyed I have to deal with it and I get frustrated it takes so long and has so many setbacks. So many ways to make mistakes!

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Anjulie

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Re: Shame and needing approval
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2019, 08:42:32 AM »
I can very much relate to what you're saying. It's really hard to live with this shame and with this need for validation.
You ask if it is narcissistic to need this approval for validation. You write you are in danger of codependency. Isn't that an extremely non-narcissistic way of acting?
 I don't know, but it was just a thought. I also think, that there are narcissistic needs in every human being. They are not bad in general.

I stand with you in  that you were made to feel so much fear snd shame and that you were damaged so badly.  :hug: :hug:
Thank you for sharing.

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harmony

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Re: Shame and needing approval
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2019, 01:31:12 PM »
Quote
I worry, is this so far removed from narcissistic behaviour? I think maybe the injury is similar but the result different.

I think you're exactly right; similar injury but different result.

You sound really self aware; that's an amazing quality. Has the awareness, once you reached that, made it a little bit easier, or is it just as hard?

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Three Roses

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Re: Shame and needing approval
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2019, 03:47:14 PM »
I think true Narcissists have no qualms or worries about their behavior. They never question it, never see themselves in a less-than-perfect light. They hold themselves blameless and never feel guilt for the pain they cause, blaming their victims for allowing themselves to be hurt.

Being human means making mistakes. People raised with realistic expectations realize they are imperfect and are self corrective about their mistakes.

However, we were blamed for everything under the sun. We were made to feel responsible for the feelings of others and their reactions - the outcome of things outside our control - things that others should have been responsible for.

When we got hurt we were made to feel responsible for that, too. We had no safety net.

Dear S&B, you are a treasure. Your words of wisdom lift us up, your support is felt. Thanks for being here. :hug:

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SharpAndBlunt

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Re: Shame and needing approval
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2019, 02:37:03 AM »
Three Roses, thank you. I think you hit a nail on the head with being made to feel bad about others' violence towards us.

harmony, I'm not sure I'm so self aware as self questioning. I think my knowledge is a bit shallow, which is why I sometimes go off on tangents. Posting here for feedback helps a lot with that.

Anjulie, thank you, I honestly feel anger too about the amount of shame I was taught. Being able to express it here and not be told it's nothing helps a lot  with that.

 :grouphug:

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harmony

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Re: Shame and needing approval
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2019, 03:06:26 PM »
Self questioning is a major part of being self aware. But, you're absolutely right, there is a difference between a healthy self questioning based on a strong sense of self, and the voice of the Inner Critic that is in a traumatized person. So I am sorry I was overly simplistic in my reply 

BUT. Read your original post again. It is full of insight. The problem maybe is sorting the genuine self awareness from the Inner Critic?

I just wanted to reassure you that what you wrote was not the work of a narcissist. That question would have been written a lot differently (and most likely not at all) from a narcissist.

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SharpAndBlunt

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Re: Shame and needing approval
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2019, 09:25:05 PM »
Hi,

harmony, I'm sorry if it sounded like I didn't value your post. I didn't find it symplistic, but I had a hard time answering properly. Maybe I could have waited a bit longer to let my thoughts settle before posting again.

Thank you for your clarification. It's encouraging. And, I think I do have a tendency to forget things and catastrophise.

Re your original question I probably find being self aware makes things a little harder in some ways, because an awareness of faults is not pretty. But being aware and having the ability to learn does help a lot.

I am coming to be a firm believer that recovering can't be done alone. I think that being denied a chance to speak has been denied to many of us here and it is really damaging. Even just asking questions out loud can be a liberating experience.

Thanks again, harmony, and Three Roses and Anjulie.

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harmony

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Re: Shame and needing approval
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2019, 10:18:50 PM »
Oh, don't worry, I'm fine! I'm new here and learning, and yet trying not to "learn at someone else's expense" if that makes sense.

I hear ya that feeling aware of faults, whether real or perceived, can be a weight. Is it helpful to be aware of things like how being talked about in the third person diminished your sense of presence, or the roots of your feelings of shame? So that you know that they were things done to you and not your fault? So that when you are feeling a certain way, you know why and it's not just a baffling mystery? Or maybe it's interesting to know but not actually helpful, perhaps.

I hope you find much healing.

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SharpAndBlunt

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Re: Shame and needing approval
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2019, 07:36:20 AM »
Hi harmony, no problem. Well, in my case it's scary, having been told that none of this a problem for so many years I believe it, while at the same time all the evidence of my life tells me there is a problem that needs to be addressed and my instincts tell me that I am quite damaged in some ways.

So, yes, it is helpful to know these things. It takes ages though and isn't like a black and white or overnight thing. It's hard to be with that knowledge sometimes and sometimes I even forget! It is not like a fixed fact that I hold in my mind. I hope it will be soon, but atm it's too hard to hold onto it 24/7.

Also harmony please don't worry about learning at someone else's expense! I have learned so much and got so much help just from reading and posting here, it has been fantastic.

Thank you for responding and asking questions. No matter how else I feel I do always feel it helps me to talk things through.

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Hope67

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Re: Shame and needing approval
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2019, 01:48:57 PM »
Just wanted to send you a hug, SaB, if that's ok  :hug:
Hope  :)

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SharpAndBlunt

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Re: Shame and needing approval
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2019, 09:14:54 AM »
Thank you Hope, that is nice. I haven't been around for a while.  :hug: