At one of my three-day intensives, we had a wonderful discussion about the difference between approval and appreciation. I had never thought about the difference until someone asked about it. As so often happens when someone asks a question, the answer came through me and others, and it delighted all of us.
We realized that approval is something we give from our ego-wounded self. Approval is conditional upon the other person performing in the way we want or expect. Approval is manipulative – that is, we give it with an outcome in mind. We hope that the other person will continue to do what we want as a result of the approval.