I want you to LIKE me!

Yup, go ahead and like this post. It feels good. The greatest need of ALL people, all the time is validation!

My son draws a tree (something that looks like a disjointed hip of an ageing Tyrannosaurus), and then excitedly looks at me. He is waiting for a reaction.

My wife comes home after a haircut. I don’t notice anything... you know the rest of the story! 😃

I cracked a brilliant joke at a family get together. That night, before sleeping, I ask my wife ‘Did you hear my joke today? It was funny na?'

We all need validation. It’s basic.

All of social media thrives on validation. A large part of the entire GDP of a country is based on the human need for validation - fashion, technology, cars, homes and even education! Our desire to acquire better things is an expression of our need to feel better about ourselves, in our eyes and in the eyes of the world.

Validation is an absolutely normal human need. But when it turns into a raging need for constant approval, I stop being myself. My behaviour changes. I start saying and doing things I don’t mean. A conflict is born inside me. It takes away my peace.

I don’t like it and hence I’m experimenting with a few ways to deal with it.

Here is what I’m finding is working for me..
  1. I’m giving myself more and more of internal validation. I'm learning to feel good about myself even if no one else notices. I’m focusing on progress I have made rather than comparing myself with someone else.
  2. In my mind, I actively seek feedback rather than unconsciously seeking validation. I say ‘Thank you’ when I get feedback, even if it is critical. Feedback helps me improve. It is always my decision how to process the feedback - be upset by it, reject it, or act on it!
  3. Ensuring that any major decisions I take are driven by my core values. I value impact. I value innovation. And, I value ‘respect’. Whenever I act in line with these values, I feel automatically validated. Then, I don’t need anyone to give me a pat on my back.

It’s good fun. It does work quite well. I need to keep reminding myself.

And don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy receiving validation. So feel feel to like, comment and share!