The fear of disapproval, though less dramatic than the irrational fear of death and of old age, is a hardly less significant expression of unconscious guilt feeling. Here also we find the irrational distortion of a normal attitude: man naturally wants to be accepted by his fellows; but modern man wants to be accepted by everybody and therefore is afraid to deviate, in thinking, feeling, and acting, from the cultural pattern. One reason among others for this irrational fear of disapproval is an unconscious guilt feeling. If man cannot approve of himself because he fails in the task of living productively, he has to substitute approval by others for approval by himself. This craving for approval can be fully understood only if we recognize it as a moral problem, as the expression of the all-pervasive though unconscious guilt feeling.
Erich Fromm (1947) Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics, p.168.