Originally Posted by HeartfulColourful
The Cloud - yes I completely agree with everything you have said. How do I get out of this game? My need to feel safe is so strong. As an example, when a man looks at me as if he appreciates me, my mood is seriously unnaturally elevated like i'm on a drug. it's not healthy and with any high comes a low. I feel as if I am very addicted to this approval. I cannot imagine an alternative reality within which I do not feel like i am 'seeking approval' nor feel 'safe'.
It's ok to do whatever you are doing, and feel whatever you are feeling. What you can't get away with is not recognizing your actions and feelings for what they are. You might not be able to stop seeking approval or feeling good when your receive it right away. But you can say to yourself, "I am seeking approval, which is a worthless action, and the good feelings that I receive from it are worth nothing to me." Devalue the actions you can't help but perform, and the feelings you can't help but experience. Essentially, you're saying that the game is stupid and you don't want to play anymore. It can be a painful process, because you're essentially destroying a part of yourself, but it will work if you feel that it is the right thing to do.
If you continue to recognize the negative value of those actions and feelings, eventually your brain will start recognizing other things that you didn't know where there before, and you should then be able to make a decision to act differently. So this practice won't make you immediately popular with the boys or with yourself. Your desire for acceptance may be so ingrained that there is no way you can change it in the present, but no action is so ingrained that you cannot recognize it for what it is.