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  • Writer's pictureMel

“Constantly doing things that made her hate herself only increased her need for approval”

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

From the book, In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People, by psychologist George K. Simon Jr.:

Screenshot of a book page: “… By the end of therapy, she realized that her behavior was a vicious circle of self-defeat. Constantly doing things that made her hate herself only increased her need for approval. She finally saw that Bill was attuned to this need and manipulated her over the years by appearing to give her approval whenever she did what he wanted her to do.”

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A super important, yet easily overlooked point!


The more you seek external validation, the more you do what others want you to do rather than what you want to do. And the more you do that, the less you like yourself and so you end up wanting more external validation.


It’s an easy trap to fall into.


But it’s also easier than you think to stop it and create an upward spiral instead.


Coaching emphasises values, strengths, and actions (especially actions that mean living those values and harnessing those strengths). I’ve certainly seen in myself and my clients how coaching helps build self-worth and reconnect with oneself.


And as a client wrote in her recent LinkedIn recommendation for me, “Many coaches speak of getting rid of the inner critic, whereas Mel facilitates a discussion within myself and helps me harness the wisdom of different parts of me and the strengths that I already have.”


Because no one needs my help in hating any part of themself more. If learning to love all parts of yourself sounds difficult, or if you find yourself going, “But wouldn’t that just make me lazy/soft/do bad things?”, I’d love to demystify this topic more. But that’s a post for another time. 😉

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