The Dangerous Pursuit of Validation

By Alexandra Torres
Jan 3rd, 2014

eccentric by kathleen tyler conklin

Virtually, all of us are prisoners and chances are, you probably don’t realize it. The truth is we all fall victim to chasing this intangible thing you might have heard of: APPROVAL. We exhaustively try to prove our point of view and that we are worthy of another’s friendship, love, respect or acceptance. With every endeavor for this, we lose a bit of ourselves to impress others.

Nothing good can possibly come from painstakingly selling ourselves. We cringe when pursuits of recognition are in vain, and we prepare for battle ready to discredit another’s intelligence or spew personal attacks of character. The truth is our biggest battle is within, as we hope for others to convince us of the very things we don’t believe about ourselves.

We can’t seem to quiet that voice in our head that tells us to keep picking at an issue until we receive satisfaction in the form of two words: “I agree” or “You’re right.” Perhaps we’d settle for an “I understand.”

When we don’t receive that our thirst for validation begins triumphing over the feelings of others. Even when in the wrong, sometimes we desperately latch on to the other person’s slip ups, which can be refuted and excuse our own. We aim to maintain our last bit of power and seek a self-given pat on the back, because others are not endowing it to us.

At times we refuse to give apologies when they’re due, which feeds the ego-driven beast residing within many of us. Unfortunately, a lot of us fall victim to this notion that our views, actions, words, ways, and lifestyle are the correct ones. Furthermore, the words we tend to find are the most profound ones that supplement our views, because agreement, like one’s approval, is music to our ears.

Each of us possesses different life experiences, cultures, religions, political ideologies, and so on. So really, why do we care so much that another person’s opinions, ethics, morals or beliefs don’t align with our own?

No matter how great your conviction is, be prepared for the possibility that those you care to impress just might stick to their original judgments. Of course it’s a defense mechanism, but we must recognize that it’s also natural, because no matter how hard we try to relate or sympathize with another, each person can only see things through their own eyes. After all, everything is subjective.

Refrain from convincing others to validate you or understand everything about you. Free yourself from this burden, and accept yourself so you won’t need others to. Invite yourself to fall in love with your being, and do what makes your soul content.

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