Addicts, as well as many others, believe that being in control is how to achieve success and happiness in life. People who follow this rule use it as a survival skill, having usually learned it in childhood. As long as they make the rules, no one can back them into a corner with their feelings. People like this often are very uncomfortable with change. Acceptance for people with this issue means accepting that they can only change themselves, not others. Being right is very similar to being in control. People’s need to be right is just a poor excuse for injured self-esteem. People usually don’t show this feeling of inadequacy or poor self-worth outwardly, and it is sometimes hidden beneath an oversized ego. Unconsciously, these people decide, “Well, at least if I’m right that means something,” and, like the controlling person, make the rules so no one can back them into a corner with their feelings. Being right often becomes increasingly important if someone doesn’t feel good about him- or herself. Unfortunately, the need to always be right puts one in constant conflict, particularly with the people he or she loves the most. Where acceptance is needed here is to accept that being right is not important when weighed against the conflict and emotional pain it causes. Letting go of being right also creates an openness that can allow suppressed feelings to surface. It is necessary to risk exposing feelings of inadequacy and experiences of past trauma in order to find peace. Another feeling of inadequacy is people’s approval is important to self-worth The need for someone to seek approval to feel better about him- or herself implies feeling uncomfortable without that approval, and it seems logical that, consciously or unconsciously, a person will present him—or herself to others in ways that are intended to please that individual. In doing so, the person may lose more of his or her own sense of self, which is so precious and special. No one will obtain everyone’s approval, because people have their own baggage and agendas and may approve or disapprove based on their own attitudes and feelings. Thus, hoping for everyone’s approval is a completely unrealistic expectation. Acceptance lies in remembering that our self-worth comes from within. This blog post is an excerpt from Finding a Purpose in the Pain – A Doctor’s Approach to Addiction Recovery and Healing – by James L. Fenley, Jr., MD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).