I went through life as the former. It shaped who I am, and I think it made me a very empathetic person. However, the more people I reconnect with from my youth, the more I hear those positive comments that would have made a world of difference to me back then. Ones that would have removed a lot of that need to seek approval.
That said, it shaped who I am now, so maybe it's better that I didn't know that the peripheral connections back then actually liked what I had to say or what I did.