The 3 Different Ways We May Be Seeking Validation From Other People

Its natural to be seeking validation, but why do we do that? And how can you change the patterns of needing approval? Here are some insights.

We all like to feel good about ourselves – about the things we have, the things we do, and so on. Unfortunately, sometimes we go to great lengths in seeking this validation from people around us.

Where does it all begin?

Come to think of it, we start seeking validation from a very young age. We want our parents’ approval, so we learn to do the different things that make them happy. As a consequence of seeking their love, we develop different attachment styles.

This need for approval stems from the inherent need to be accepted and loved in our community. I want to highlight the different behaviors that we are capable of doing from time to time, as a consequence.

3 Different Styles of Seeking Validation

You’ll notice all three of these styles of people around you. And don’t cringe if you feel like you too fall into a category you don’t like. We have all been ‘that person’.

Understanding the underlying fear behind our need to seek validation, and then tactfully dealing with it within ourselves and those around us, is the only way to true inner healing. Let’s explore the types!

#1 – THE SELF-GLORIFYING

In other words, bragging

Frog, Chick, Lady, Arrogant, Cocktail

We validate ourselves rather awkwardly, by boasting about ourselves in front of other people.

What is the need to do this? The underlying fear is – the fear of becoming insignificant, being left out. It is the insecurity that other people won’t notice us, won’t acknowledge us, if we don’t remind them of our glory.

Seen most in : People that are ‘trying too hard’ to stand out.

Other adjectives : smug-face, self-absorbed, smirking.

Other behaviors developed from this: Left unattended, it starts to develop into ‘superiority complex’, and overconfidence. We begin to think too highly of ourselves because we’re always trying to validate ourselves in front of other people, and unfortunately undermine others.

Sometimes, we may even shoot down and invalidate other people’s success (or failure) by trying to compare with our own.

#2 – HIS/HER VALIDATION.

Recognized as attention seeking.

Hand, Human, Partnership, Teamwork, Cooperation, Seeking Validation from others

Usually seen when we feel inferior to the people around us. We directly or indirectly go to them to seek their affirmation that what we have, or what we did is “approved” in society. And we try to dim our own light, change our opinion, if we don’t receive the appreciation we think we deserve.

What is the need to do this? The underlying fear is – the fear of not being good enough, not being unable to trust ourselves and our judgement.

Seen most in: People trying to ‘fit-in’ and conform to their environment.

Other adjectives: people-pleasing, yes-man, doormat, etc.

Other behaviors developed from this: It becomes worse when people start going overboard to get into someone’s good books. Running favors, going above and beyond to make someone like you, etc.

#3 – ULTIMATE VALIDATION 

This is the right balance; reflecting a healthy form of confidence, and learning to coexist with our differences.

Inclusion, Group, Wheelchair

This kind of behaviour says “you can be yourself, and so can I” and sometimes when things don’t click in the circle, it is the attitude of “let’s just agree to disagree”.

This will only harness in our nature when we trust our own judgement, consider our feelings and opinion worthy – even if it doesn’t match with what society says. And at the same time aren’t fixated that there’s only one ‘right way’ for things to be.

Here’s a quick video going over the different self-love and self-validating things you can do in daily life.

When it comes to seeking rewards, this behavior is achieved by knowing that the Universe is always watching over you and will compensate for anything that another human being missed. The Universe doesn’t miss a thing!

To further explain Ultimate Gratification, I’d also like to share a quote from the Bible (I am not a preacher or Catholic, but I really resonate with this wonderful message) :

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

Matthew 6:2 (NIV)

Concluding Thoughts

Each behaviour associates with our self-esteem and our ability to appreciate our differences. While you can’t always call it out in other people, or help them, an insight of the fears that run in their subconscious can help you become more compassionate towards them.

And when it comes to ourselves, a simple reflection on which category you fall into can help you look your fears in the eye, make better choices and thus become the best version of you!

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42 thoughts on “The 3 Different Ways We May Be Seeking Validation From Other People”

  1. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

    Matthew 6:2 (NIV)

    I always try to follow this verse.

  2. It is important to know what makes you happy, but ultimately that you cannot be truly happy while others are still suffering. The ultimate gratification, is to know you have done everything possible for others around you to be happy, ultimately building the foundation for your own happiness.

  3. I feel like knowing what type of gratification you are can really benefit. This way you can help overcome the underlting weaknesses of this and improve yourself.

    1. Absolutely! That’s the intent behind reflecting on these behaviors. It’s easier when we are able to self analyze versus someone criticizing us 😊

    1. That’s my favorite Bible verse too 💕 it just rings so well on the idea of being grounded and unconditional without self glorification ⭐🙌

    1. Hmmm.. this was my reflection on our behavioral tendencies, I do think broadly there are 3 – two extremes and one balanced version. So ofcourse, balance is always the best way to go 😊

  4. Great post! Self awareness definitely helps me face fear and make decisions. Love that part of the end of this post

  5. I almost feel as though we all of a little bit of each in us and maybe depending on the situation lean more towards another.

    1. To be more of the third would be the healthiest, and you’re right, situation to situation we learn to start moving into category 3 💛

  6. I think I go through phases of each of these depending on my stage in life. It’s good to be aware of for sure.

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