Why Do People Need Recognition?
In my experience there are two primary reasons we seek recognition. The first has to do with one of our three core drive drives: the drive to have positive impact in the world. The second has to do with our Survival and Redemption Plans.
- Our Drive to Have Positive Impact: We all have three core drives: the drive to be authentic, the drive for connection and the drive to have positive impact in the world. Our Impact drive can lead to seeking recognition because it is natural for us to want to know whether we are truly making a difference.
- Survival Plan Attachment: The more we are trying to have a positive impact in the world in order to redeem ourselves for having failed to get all the love, validation or safety we needed when we were younger, the more this natural desire becomes distorted. It turns into the kind of attention-seeking that irritates others and it becomes a bottomless pit for us – we can’t ever get enough recognition to fill the hole in us. This is why we must outgrow our Survival and Redemption Plans as adults.