We are sometimes stuck between a world where being a ‘G’ (gangster) can seem more important than being honest and vulnerable. Within that vulnerability exists the undeniable fact that we are in constant need of validation – the word may sound accusatory, I assure you it is not. Validation does not necessarily mean you are insecure. It just means you are human, you exist, you feel and you want to be assured that people respond to that existence.
According to psychcentral.com, validation is “getting feedback from others that ‘What I do matters to you. You hear me. You think of me. You thank me. You acknowledge my accomplishments. You appreciate my efforts.’” It is important to not let your life and decisions be dictated by what others think or say about you, but it would be naive to think that if the three most important people in your life woke up one day and completely cut you off, you would be immune to at least a two-second panic attack. Imagine going to work and your senior or boss gives you crazy eyes and tells you, “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” after 30-odd years of experience – the horror!
The biggest plus to being in romantic relationships is arguably the constant validation that comes with it. How often do people talk about craving that “good morning” text? Not that without it the morning would be bad, but it does not hurt to know that someone wakes up and immediately thinks about your well-being. Sometimes the need for constant validation may lead us into bad situations, especially romantically, because if you have not been validated enough in every other part of your life you will constantly cling on to the ‘first’ person that you feel ‘sees’ you. We need it in healthy doses so we can be able to evaluate the difference between love and manipulation.
The best way to learn to live without it is by figuring out the art of appreciating, hearing, seeing your own damn self. The psychcentral.com website says, “Don’t shy away from praising yourself and let the praise you receive from others be the icing on the cake.” By religiously racking up the coin in your own validation bank, it becomes easier for you to recognise and appreciate the things you have changed in order to influence your life positively.
Validation is a tricky beast, it may either make you seem extremely needy or make you reach super-saiyan levels of selfish – the trick is to find your balance on the fence so you can avoid free falling. Pay attention to the core of your insecurities, work on building yourself up from that dark place and every now and then cuddle on the couch with a friend, while binging on validating each others lives – balance.
Remember, “When we listen, we hear someone into existence,” a quote by author Laurie Buchanan.