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Craving for Acceptance

Craving for acceptance has the potential to slowly kill our joy. A desire for someone’s emotional warmth can overwhelm our rational minds. Why is there such a strong craving for others’ acceptance?

Thousands of photographs uploaded to social media reveal large friend groups coming together, making positive memories, and connecting in a meaningful way that may seem foreign for the ones stalking them. Although the desire to “belong somewhere” is completely understood, we all must figure out our needs without living vicariously through others. 

Many stats and personal stories posted online daily all reveal that meeting new people becomes harder with age. Grown adults have their jobs to focus on, they might be distressed because of their toddler’s daily tantrums, or some of them might constantly keep an almost lifelong social distance towards all strangers. Many people in our surroundings have already met their trusted group in the earlier stages of their lives, so they have no desire to open up to unknown people that might bring them emotional trauma. Friendships or acquaintanceships can fade away over time due to numerous non-dramatic factors. Is it even possible to emotionally connect with a group of people that will accept you just the way you are?

As a young college grad with a strong desire to meet new potential friends, I followed the advice of joining a social group that happened to be religiously-oriented. In the beginning, it would go well especially as there were talks of it being welcoming to everyone. I felt quite good with my new acquaintances. Some mistakes were made on my behalf but thankfully there never were any major conflicts. If I could speak to my younger self I would tell myself to cover up any social discomfort. I was later told that I simply “didn’t fit in” in part due to my introverted personality. Even though I would get along “alright” with others, something would often feel off even months after attempting to make everything okay. I still do become upset when I think about this experience since there is more tied to this story that will not be revealed due to privacy reasons. 

After my errors, I have learned that sometimes we just don’t have chemistry with certain people and that’s okay too. Getting along with others who are quite different from us can be a blessing since we can learn other perspectives. In numerous situations, these vast personality differences just don’t mix well together so parting ways can be the best option. Nothing should be forced, especially friendships. Everything has to have the right place and time. For one person, goofy personalities are not enjoyable. Another person craves lots of time spent in silence. It is entirely understandable and natural to desire positive social interactions that help us grow, but not everyone will “accept us” even when we try to be the best versions of ourselves. 

Life’s circumstances might not always be in our favor while the desire for meaningful connections comes and goes. Although this sounds cliché, it still must be said that we must first accept ourselves instead of craving the acceptance of others. Not everyone will like us and that’s okay. We don’t need to hurt ourselves for no good reason.

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