Why Do We Seek the Approval of Those Who Don't Value Us? - Deepstash
The Act of Approval Seeking

The act of seeking approval is profound among adolescents who often feel pressured to get other people's approval to be seen as "popular", the idea is prominent in many teen films, but this behavior is a propensity that does not entirely disappear as we age.

Often adults brood over the acceptance or respect of another adult, seemingly less rational than a teenager's. But, the adult world is considerably more complex due to social circles and status dependence.

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Perhaps, the root of disposition can be traced back to an evolutionary mechanism that makes us perceive attainable and already attained goods as something that isn't worth wanting.

It could also be dependent on the difficulty of the achievement as a proxy for its magnitude, and when we get something easily, we don't value it as much as we would otherwise.

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The behavior of not sufficiently appreciating the company of those who care for us is call the Groucho Marx Tendency; named after the comedian who quipped that he would not like to be a member of a club that would want him to be a part of.

In general, this behavior benefits us because otherwise, we wouldn't have the drive to pursue anything at all.

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The Groucho Marx Tendency on Individual Happiness

The Groucho Marx tendency can cause detrimental effects on one's happiness due to several reasons:

  1. The toil required to acquire something is not a good indicator of worth.
  2. The people who have this tendency may easily fall for the traps of self-interested actors - like how markets raise the prices of their goods so that we'd consider them more valuable than it actually is.
  3. It doesn't help us perceive the importance of what's actually good for us, physically and emotionally.

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Instead of Seeking Approval
  • Learn how to fully appreciate the friends who treasure you
  • Try to get to know other people better, not just in a superficial and shallow way, but actually get yourself to relate to them at a deeper level.

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