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I Need Approval from Authority Figures

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a 19 year old young woman in India: I am experiencing something which can be referred as an extreme sort of temporary fickleness. I am driven by a constant urge to patronize/flatter the person in the authority just because I need them to provide me with an approval on the concept of my “self.” These figures carries the range of all of my professors, gym trainer and even those people that I deeply dislike.

(I have some Daddy issues)

I would be really grateful from your help.

I Need Approval from Authority Figures

Answered by on -


I not sure I know what you mean by “daddy issues”. I’m guessing that you didn’t get the approval and love from a father that you wanted and so you think you seek it from other authority figures. Maybe. It may also be that, at 19, you are insecure and struggling to define yourself. (Of course, it could be both: Unresolved issues with your father and insecurity.) Looking to authority figures for direction and approval is one solution to insecurity. Just do what gets their approval and you can relax. Except — and this is a big except — there is a cost to your self-confidence and your personal integrity.

A more useful solution is to look for things to do with your time that matter to you personally and that make a difference in others’ lives. Doing things that you think are worthwhile will raise your sense of self-worth. When we do good, we feel good and when we feel good for doing good things, we are motivated to do more of it. That’s the basis of a positive self-esteem.

If some of your heroes or authority figures also approve, it’s a bonus. But if they don’t approve, you will still have good reason to feel good about yourself.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Need Approval from Authority Figures

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Need Approval from Authority Figures. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.