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.
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.
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.
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)
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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Image Courtesy : pixabay.com, shutterstock.com
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