June 22nd 2018
“The more validation I need, the less discernment I have” ~Kurt Hanks
In this modern social media age, we are on the quest more than ever for validation. We essentially shout our thoughts, feelings, opinions, and accomplishments from the rooftops (or in this case from the news feed of some social media platform) in the hopes of getting some form of validation.
We post selfies on Instagram, not simply because we feel pretty, but because we want others to validate the fact that we “are pretty”. This quest for validation from outside sources in a dead-end journey that just results in stress and disappointment. “Why didn’t anyone like my tweet? I must not be funny.” “Why didn’t anyone like my OOTD picture on Instagram? This outfit must be ugly.” So on and so on, we doubt ourselves because we do not receive our desired response for putting ourselves out there.
However, the reason that this quest is so pointless is that we are all looking for the same thing. Since we all sit back and wait for validation to pour in for our every move, many of us do not take the time to validate others because….it isn’t our job to validate others and it is not their job to validate us. Validation is something that should come from inside one’s self, not from outside sources.
This does not mean you should give up complimenting your friends all together for their great achievements or for them looking genuinely nice one day, but it does mean that you should stop kissing everyone else’s ass in the subconscious hope that they will return the validation in the future!
If you think your outfit is cool, take pictures in it and post those pictures because they make you feel good, NOT because you want people to tell you it is a cool outfit. If you make a joke on Twitter and it doesn’t get any notes, but it makes you laugh, don’t get discouraged! If you like yourself then you shouldn’t need someone else to reassure that you dress nice or you’re pretty or you’re funny, you should know that already!
And if you don’t like yourself enough to already know those things, then seeking other’s validation is not where you should start. You should start by seeing what you can do for yourself in order to give yourself personal validation. If you don’t feel like you dress well, don’t expect other people to tell you you do. That is just you avoiding changing yourself for the better through self-serving practices that actually aren’t self-serving at all.
If you don’t like something about yourself, don’t just stay the same because you feel like people are validating you for the way you are. Change, better yourself, make it so you don’t need anyone to validate you in order for you to feel good about yourself! Don’t continue doing things you don’t enjoy because you’ve been praised for them, grow because you know it is what is best for you, even if no one praises it!
Lastly, I want to return to the quote at the beginning of this post, “the more validation I need, the less discernment I have” by Kurt Hanks. This quote is incredibly important because in our quest for validation, we often sacrifice our personal judgment along the way. I think this really connects to the current social practice of being “savage”. We praise people for being “savage” or essentially downright mean which just leads to people believing that being mean is the best way to gain approval.
If people keep giving you praise for being mean and you crave the validation, you’re going to go against your better judgment and continue to be mean to people because it gets you your fix of outside approval.
So overall, focus on turning your need to validate, inward. Applaud yourself for things you do that make you proud and validate your own personal judgments. Stop relying on others for the validation that you so crave and instead, trust that everything you need is inside you.