Approval Junkie : Adventures In Caring Too Much by Faith Salie
View book: Approval Junkie : Adventures In Caring Too Much
From comedian and journalist Faith Salie, of NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! and CBS News Sunday Morning, comes a captivating collection of daring, humorous essays chronicling the author’s adventures during her lifelong pursuit of validation. Salie has gone to great lengths in her quest for approval, whether it be impressing her parents with a flawless GPA, undergoing an exorcism to salvage her toxic marriage, or baking an extravagant 3D excavator cake for her son’s birthday. She is the ultimate approval seeker, or as she puts it, an “approval junkie.”
In this bold and honest collection, Salie shares captivating stories from her lifelong journey for gold stars, recounting her tactics to win a very Southern high school beauty pageant, the challenges of selecting the perfect outfit for her divorce, and the difficulties of finding love and starting a family after the death of her mother. With thoughtful irreverence, Salie reflects on the reasons behind her relentless need to please others, both at home and in the workplace, a phenomenon that many people, particularly women, can relate to.
Equal parts uproariously funny and deeply moving, Approval Junkie is the inspiring tale of one woman’s realization that seeking approval from others is so much more than just trying to gain their affection—it’s about pushing oneself to achieve and overcome challenges that were once thought impossible.
Approval Junkie: A Journey of Seeking Validation and Self-Discovery
Welcome back! I’m Jeffrey Brown, here in Chicago at McCormick Place for Book Expo America. Today, I am joined by Faith Salie, whose new book “Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring Too Much” is causing a stir. Salie defines an “approval junkie” as someone who seeks validation and applause, someone who is willing to take risks and create something new or compelling. Salie admits to being a recovering approval junkie herself, and her book is a collection of personal essays that explores her evolving relationship with seeking approval.
Salie reflects on her childhood and how her mother’s constant support and encouragement might have influenced her need for approval. She also talks about the defining moment when she realized that the pursuit of straight A’s and constant praise was not enough in the real world. It was a perfect storm of events – leaving grad school, the death of her mother, and being in a relationship where she sought constant approval – that made her reevaluate her need for validation.
When asked how she defines herself now, Salie struggles to answer. She is a journalist, a media and writer, but she doesn’t want to come across as a “jerk” by listing all her accomplishments. She explains that her book encompasses both high and low moments in her life, combining sophistication and intellect with low comedy and messy situations. Even in the silliest or most outrageous experiences, there is depth to be found.
Salie reveals that the writing process for her book was not easy. She started writing some of it during her unhappy first marriage, and had to revisit those difficult times while working on the book. She admits that there were swaths of time when she didn’t write anything down because she was happy, but revisiting her journals and rediscovering the struggles was a tough experience. However, she believes that there is value in sharing her story, even if it dredges up painful memories.
Salie’s book is a collection of essays that are both funny and meaningful. She believes that the combination of humor and sadness resonates with readers, and she has received positive feedback from both women and men. In writing her book, Salie wanted to address women’s struggles with approval, but found that the discussion resonated with people of all genders.
As a first-time author, Salie had mixed emotions about the book expo. She hoped for success but also recognized the sheer number of books being published and the competition out there. However, she was inspired by the fact that there are so many people hungry for new ideas and connections through books.
Moving forward, Salie plans to continue writing and is even considering writing a children’s book. She recognizes the importance of storytelling and the power of connecting with others through words.