Saturday, 21 March 2015

Approvalism - the need to be needed

The professional victim is adept at deflecting blame, using hard luck stories to win sympathy, making herself ‘indispensible’ to influential others. This all feeds her need to be needed. She has low self worth and has such a poor opinion of herself that she relies on the approval of others to feel good about herself, an approval addiction/dependence. In previous posts we have discussed Serious Approval Dependence (SAD) where the individual needs to be noticed and esteemed by others. When this is taken away, the individual can be left with feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt and self-loathing. She may also resent those who don’t acknowledge her talents and capabilities (as they absolutely should! – see Albert Ellis’ ABC Theory of Emotional Disturbance). She is often left feeling angry, anxious and depressed.

Approval needy people are worthy of understanding and respect but at the same time those around her would be wise to protect themselves from her manipulative behaviour.

1. Be aware of she who sits on every or most committees
2. Don’t feed her need to be needed – she needs your approval, don’t give it!
3. Be prepared to become a target of her anger/resentment if you are strong enough not to be drawn into her web of lies and deceit.
4. Tears and claims of victimhood will be the strategy of choice used when there is any sense that she has been caught out (‘My integrity is at stake here! This is so unfair.’)
5. She will put others down strategically when others who are ‘on side’ are around.
6. She will delegate difficult jobs to others (that she can’t do herself) and criticize them when they fail (as they will do).
7. She will withhold important information from colleagues.
8. She will deny professional learning opportunities to her 'underlings' and then criticize them when they don’t perform as well as they ‘should’.
9. She will tell her line manager that so and so is lazy, inefficient (who will believe her as she is his confidante at his disposal 24/7 and therefore must be right)
10. The above strategies will be used to her advantage e.g. engineer the employment of people she knows to positions on staff (to replace those inefficient others who ‘don’t do a good job’) who she can control.
11. She will tell lies to get what she wants.
12. She will be aided and abetted by line managers who wouldn’t want to get her offside as she is greatly needed (just as she likes to be).

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