One of the most exhausting things to do in life is to constantly seek the approval of others. In the comments below, share which of these inspirational quotes you find the most helpful.
Seeking approval for the things that we do is something that is hardwired into our minds even from an early age.
Oftentimes, the approval we are seeking is from loved ones and respected adults, like our school teachers.
A kind word of encouragement, or a sign of disapproval, can have a profound impact on us at this time.
We’ve gathered for you some thought-provoking approval quotes so that you can look at the deeper meaning of this action.
In healthy and well-developed individuals, they have come to realize that ultimately what matters is that they approve of their choices.
Most of us have work to be done to get to that point and to stop seeking the approval of others.
Towards that goal, here are some wise approval quotes, and what it means to seek validation.
Motivational Approval Quotes
1. “A motto of the human race: Let me do as I like, and give me approval as well.”- IDRIES SHAH, Reflections
2. “What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.”- CONFUCIUS, Wisdom of Confucius
3. “Approval is a lover who will always break your heart.”- SAMMY RHODES, This Is Awkward
4. “Eventually you just have to realize that you’re living for an audience of one. I’m not here for anyone else’s approval.” – PAMELA ANDERSON, Esquire, Jan. 2005
5. “Do right, and public approval will follow; either the next hour or the next century.”- J. C. LETTSOM, attributed, Day’s Collection
6. “Man’s desire for the approval of his fellows is so strong, his dread of their censure so violent, that he himself has brought his enemy (conscience) within his gates; and it keeps watch over him, vigilant always in the interests of its master to crush any half-formed desire to break away from the herd.”- W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Moon and Sixpence
7. “He who seeks only for applause from without has all his happiness in another’s keeping.”- OLIVER GOLDSMITH, The Good-Natured Man
8. “If you are an approval addict, your behavior is as easy to control as that of any other junkie. All a manipulator need do is a simple two-step process: Give you what you crave, and then threaten to take it away. Every drug dealer in the world plays this game.”- HARRIET B. BRAIKER, Who’s Pulling Your Strings? How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life
9. “The people who receive the most approval in life are the ones who care the least about it–so technically, if you want the approval of others, you need to stop caring about it.”- WAYNE W. DYER, Your Ultimate Calling
10. “Don’t seek approval. This may be the toughest suggestion for you to follow — and the most important. Whether you’re a teenager seeking approval from your peers, a middle-aged parent seeking the approval of your kids, or a man or woman seeking the approval of a partner, it all amounts to the same thing. You’re giving your personal power away every time you seek validation from someone else for who you are.” – TRISH MACGREGOR, Soulmate Astrology
Approval Quotes that will change your mind
11. “I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”- JOHANNES KEPLER, attributed, The Radical Humanist, 1969
12. “The named it Ovation from the Latin ovis, a sheep.”- PLUTARCH, attributed, The Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations
13. “Do not trust to the cheering, for those very persons would shout as much if you and I were going to be hanged.”- OLIVER CROMWELL, attributed, The New Speaker’s Treasury of Wit and Wisdom
14. “The conformist is filled with the need for approval. He can never get enough. He runs from one person to another seeking compliments and endorsements for his behavior and actions. As a child, he turned to parents and teachers; when he started to work, to his boss and fellow workers; in marriage, he turned to his mate. He must always have someone around to pat him on the head and tell him he is doing a good job. This bolsters up his poor self-esteem.”- ROBERT ANTHONY, The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence
15. “We’re high on the adrenaline of feeling, even though we know it’s fleeting and evanescence. And we’re getting worse — checking texts and emails and Facebook every five minutes, always searching for that next hit of feeling, that next morsel of approval.”- DEBORAH MEYLER, The Bookstore
16. “Self-approval is acquired mainly from the approval of other people.”- MARK TWAIN, Corn-Pone Opinions
17. “Not all approval is good news and not all disapproval is bad news. Imagine that you meet somebody and you think that he likes you. You wonder why. Then it dawns on you that he is a taker and that he probably likes you because he sees that he can take advantage of you. You realize that he approves of you for a rather unflattering reason. When you think through the meaning of this approval, it feels more like a criticism than a compliment.
18. Well, what if we turn this scenario around: you meet somebody and you think he doesn’t like you. You wonder why. Then it dawns on you: this person is threatened by your intelligence. You realize that his dislike of you is actually an indirect compliment. This disapproval confirms to you something that you do value about yourself.
19. My point? Evaluating yourself solely on the basis of others’ approval or disapproval can be misleading. The mere fact of others’ approval or disapproval of you is meaningless unless you understand and agree with the reasons behind others’ evaluations of you.”- PAVEL SOMOV, Present Perfect
20. “Once we realize that the wish for love and approval is a universal motivator, we can begin to dance with the flow of love by helping others to meet that need through their connections with us. And as we help others to meet those needs by being with us, the positive flow of giving Love comes back to us.”- PERRY WOOD, Secrets of the People Whisperer
Approval Quotes to inspire and teach
21. “Acceptance is approval, a word with a bad name in some psychologies. Yet it is perfectly normal to seek approval in childhood and throughout life. We require approval from those we respect. The kinship it creates lifts us to their level, a process referred to in self-psychology as transmuting internalization.
Approval is a necessary component of self-esteem. It becomes a problem only when we give up our true self to find it. Then approval-seeking works against us.”- DAVID RICHO, How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving
“Seeking approval of others is typically a good indication that we’ve been shortchanging our potential for greatness.”
22 “Why, as women, are we constantly seeking approval of others for everything we say and do?”
23. “Seeking approval of others is not living.”
24. “Some of y’all only act and aspire to do things because you’re seeking approval of others. That’s what makes you and I different.”
25. “Seeking approval of others and listening to the opinions that don’t resonate with you is detrimental to your happiness.”
26. “The older you get, the more you realize that seeking approval of others is a total waste of time. Being at peace with God is the key!”
27. “Seeking approval of others is away to avoid how deeply we disapprove of ourselves.”
28. “Courage requires that you follow your heart, do what is right and not be distracted by seeking approval of others.”
29. “Funny how my world improved immediately when I stopped seeking approval of others and began approving of myself.
30. “Fill all the emptiness in your day with God instead of seeking approval of others. Then receiving love from others becomes the overflow.
31. “Stop bartering away your body, heart, energy and time, seeking approval of others.
“Seeking approval of others…Have you no mind of your own?!”
Approval Quotes to elevate your mind
“How much does it cost,
To win your approval?
Will it be money well spent?”
– CLARA MARIE MITCHELL, ‘Friendship’, Poems of Reflection: Faith, Life, and Travel
32. “When you are your own best friend, you don’t endlessly seek out relationships, friendships, and validation from the wrong sources because you realize that the only approval and validation you need is your own.”- MANDY HALE, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
33. “Once you get rid of the idea that you must please other people before you please yourself, and you begin to follow your own instincts — only then can you be successful. You become more satisfied, and when you are, other people tend to be satisfied by what you do.”- RAQUEL WELCH, attributed, Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing
34. “We are forever looking outside ourselves, seeking approval and striving to impress others. But living to please others is a poor substitute for self-love, for no matter how family and friends may adore us, they can never satisfy our visceral need to love and honor ourselves.”- SUSAN L. TAYLOR, Lessons in Living
35. “Somewhere in the middle of being driven by “what other people think”, the tension between the desire for approval and the fear of disapproval, are we missing what we really want?”- RACHNA SINGH, Love Yourself First, Deccan Herald, February 21, 2016
36. “He’s not a ‘pat on the back’ type of guy and I am driven by the need for approval. He’s a stingy dealer, and I’m a needy addict.”- KERRI K. MORRIS, ‘Resolution Chronicles: the best of 2015’, Chicago Now, January 1, 2016
37. “The truth is, many of us are looking for the approval of those closest to us on some level or another. And often this is disguised by the desire to have someone understand what we are talking about or going through, anything important to us about ourselves. I always thought I just wanted them to ‘get it.’ In reality, I wanted them to get it so that they would be okay with me.”- JADE MAZARIN, ‘Seeking to be Understood: The Need for Approval’, Psych Central, December 19, 2011
38. “The fallacy of approval is irrational because it implies that others will respect and like you more if you go out of your way to please them. Often this simply isn’t true. Would you respect people who have compromised important values just to gain acceptance? Are you likely to think highly of people who repeatedly deny their own needs as a means of buying approval?”- RONALD B. ADLER and RUSSELL F. PROCTOR II, Looking Out, Looking In
39. “Excessive need for approval is typically the result of an overly negative self-image.”- CAROLYN GREGOIRE, ‘This Is The Only Personality Type That Enjoys Being With Narcissists’, Huffington Post, March 14, 2016
40. “Our need for social approval sticks more terribly and irreversibly to us than does a on a damaged Teflon-coated pan.”- RACHNA SINGH, ‘Love Yourself First’, Deccan Herald, February 21, 2016
41. “In terms of approval, the Internet is a seductive place. Part of this is because the Internet makes approval feel more tangible. No one in real life can like or star or retweet something you say. The best they can do is laugh a little harder, smile a little bigger.
Not so with the Internet. The approval you feel is instantly measured by how much a post is shared, liked, “favorited,” or reposted. The danger of posting something online for me lies in the way I track its reception like a new iPhone about to be delivered to my doorstep: obsessively and compulsively. I want to feel the rush of approval.”- SAMMY RHODES, This Is Awkward
Insightful Approval Quotes
42. “Most children were taught from a young age to seek approval from their parents for the things they said or did. Since the need for approval, love and acceptance from our parents is strong, we become conditioned over time to seek approval from others as well. Whenever we don’t receive approval from someone who is not our parent, there is an automatic trigger and desire to win it back.”- LAUREN SUVAL, ‘What Drives Our Need For Approval?’, Psych Central, September 20, 2012
43. “Letting the need for approval determine your life has hugely stressful ramifications — look at the rate of celebrity-suicide. Did you know that there is a website called Kevo that tracks the approval rating of celebrities? Imagine the stress of perpetually living in fear that the ratings will go down!”- RACHNA SINGH, ‘Love Yourself First’, Deccan Herald, February 21, 2016
44. “Humans share an innate drive to connect with others. We’re evolutionarily wired to crave inclusion. Eons ago, this was linked with our survival; in prehistoric times, rejection triggered fear. If someone became isolated or was ousted from the group, his or her life would be at risk.
Because the consequences of being rejected were so extreme, our brains and behavior adapted to avoid disapproval from others. In fact, research has shown that social rejection activates many of the same brain regions involved in physical pain, which helps explains why disapproval stings.”- MELODY WILDING, ‘4 Steps to Stop Seeking Approval from Others’, Psych Central, October 3, 2015
45. “The affects were subtle at first, a warm feeling when someone liked or shared a column I wrote or commented on a status. The support from friends near and far when we are dealing with a crisis is also a positive way I have experienced affirmation and approval on social media.
But gradually, I discovered this need for approval that I just didn’t ‘like’ about myself. I started to recognize a nudging inside me. It’s kind of like the way my dogs tap my hand, with their wet noses, when they want food or attention. This nudging was coming from a need for approval of my work and a validation of my opinions.”- EILEEN BENTHAL, ‘The Human Craving for Approval, Played Out In Social Media’, Riverhead Local, November 16, 2014
46. “Tacit approval is real approval; hypothetical approval is not.”- LEIF WENAR, Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World
47. “Trying to get other people’s approval is not going to boost up one’s self worth. One thing is that you will never get the approval from everyone. While you may get approval from some, others will be turned away. Most of the time trying too hard to get approval from others backfires.”- ED RUSSO, The Pleiadian Papers
48. “The fallacy of approval is based on the idea that it’s not just desirable but vital to get the approval of virtually every person. People who accept this idea seek approval from others, even when they have to sacrifice their own principles and happiness to do so.”- RONALD B. ADLER and RUSSELL F. PROCTOR II, Looking Out, Looking In
49. “Both money and approval are general means of exchange in social interaction, one in economic exchange and the other in social exchange.”- PETER A. BARONE, ‘Plausible Solutions to School Violence and Disturbance in America’, Critical Examinations of School Violence and Disturbance in K-12 Education
50. “If we’re in constant need for approval from other people, it could be a sign that the approval we receive internally simply isn’t enough.”- ERICA FLORENTINE, ‘8 Weird Signs of Low Self-Esteem & How To Change It’, Bustle, December 30, 2015
Insightful Approval Quotes
51. “You will never gain anyone’s approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows.” – Mandy Hale
52. “Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.” – Harvey Mackay
53. “A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” – Vernon Howard
54. “You do not need any approval to believe in yourself.”― Lailah Gifty Akita
55. “Once we begin chasing approval, we never stop running. It’s servitude to a thousand masters instead of one to please.” – David Jeremiah
56. “When will you love yourself: that other people’s approval no longer matters?”― Gillian Duce
57. “Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best.” – Andrew Carnegie
58. “Never trade your uniqueness for approval.”― Joy Marino
59. “Needing approval is like saying ‘your view of me is more important than my own opinion of myself’.” – Wayne Dyer
60. “I do not write for your approval and appreciation. I only write for the food of your wisdom, knowledge, and insight.”― Ehsan Sehgal
Don’t forget to also check out these inspirational know your worth quotes.
More validation and approval quotes and sayings
61. “Never forget to value yourself; never seek validation outside of yourself.” – Debasish Mridha
62. “Accomplishments don’t erase shame, hatred, cruelty, silence, ignorance, discrimination, low self-esteem or immorality. It covers it up, with a creative version of pride and ego. Only restitution, forgiving yourself and others, compassion, repentance and living with dignity will ever erase the past.” – Shannon L. Alder
63. “Never seek to please anyone. Seek to evolve thyself.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
64. “You strive to please others, to fit in, and feel accepted. In spite of that, you still don’t feel accepted, and not because others don’t accept you, but because you haven’t accepted yourself as you are.” – Dragos Bratasanu
65. “Dare to ask questions. There are answers to any question.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
66. “True acceptance doesn’t require you to fit in or change who you are. It doesn’t have to be sought; it’s given to you.” – Yong Kang Chan
67. “We all have weakness and strength. I have to fight against the weakness in my personality. Everyone of should fight against the weakness of the soul. Seek to build on your strengths.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
68. “Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay
69. “Most people think everybody feels about them much more violently than they actually do; they think other people’s opinions of them swing through great arcs of approval or disapproval.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
70. “Stay true to yourself. An original is worth more than a copy.” – Suzy Kassem
Did these validation and approval quotes help you decide if you need it?
Seeking approval is something that does NOT change throughout our lives. We still want people to be proud and supportive of us. We want the pat on the back of a job well done.
However, as we become adults, there is a difference between needing approval for all we do, wanting approval, and knowing that the most important approval has now become the appreciation we give ourselves.
Which of these approval quotes resonated with you? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.
March 10, 2021 6:00 AM EST