I find I am getting better at talking to myself. When I say kind things to me I listen more and allow myself to receive the validation.
When people don’t valid themselves enough, they require it inappropriately from others. Call yourself who you are.
Tell yourself where you’re worthy to go. Don’t wait for someone to do this. As educated as someone may seem that person may be of lower development than you and therefore they cannot validate you.
Don’t Get Me Wrong…
1. We ALL need to be validated so you’ll never not need it. Do not bother with people who say you don’t. They say that because they are getting their cup full of validation from somewhere and are not self aware enough to recognize it as that.
2. The self validation is one of the most difficult things to do if you’re someone who is real about your purpose and big dreams.
Why We Need Validation
It is critical for our development because it stabilizes us emotionally and socially. Validation is a form of mirroring and we know that mirroring is critical for the formation and substantiation of our identity.
Psychotherapist Lisa Erickson, MS. LMHC informs that identity is not created in a vacuum, “We identify ourselves through relationships with others”. Therefore we know identity is formed within a psycho-social container of who I think I am, who I perceive I am, who I would like to be seen and known as, and what is mirrored back to me (aka what I receive validation for).
The dissonance comes when what is mirrored back to us is not what we perceive of ourselves, know of ourselves, or would like to be seen and known as.
This happens for several reasons
When this happens it’s because….
1. You are in the wrong social place. Therefore there is not enough people around you who are similar enough to mirror you whether directly (verbally) or indirectly (through their lives).
2. People around you are not mature enough to provide the validation you need though they have the capacity for it, because they may be insecurity and therefore are closed.
What happens if you don’t get the validation you need
1. You begin to question yourself more than you should.
2. You subconsciously try to re-engineer yourself to fit to what is mirrored to you, so that you reduce the cognitive dissonance- but all of this makes you miserable inside, because you instinctively know that something is off.
3. You project unduly onto others.
What happens if you are not self aware enough to catch this problem in time and deal with it
1. You will be looking for validation in the most inappropriate persons.
e.g. sometime ago, someone said something that was disrespectful to me. In return, I pointed out to this person that due to the opposite mistake that they had made in the same context, they had no authority to point out that I was being to “cautious”. The person’s ego was so fragile that they responded with lengthy messages defending their life history and outlining what they had accomplished. All of which I was very familiar with because this is someone I knew. I was simply showing them how they wrong in their judgment about what they thought I was doing. I immediately identified that this was a desperate and shoddy attempt to pull validation to self soothe. If they had been validating of themselves enough, they wouldn’t have needed to do that.
2. You will be caught up looking for validation from the wrong situations. This is not in the way that is commonly thought. Like being with the wrong person or staying in abusive relationships. I am trying to carve out the subtle nuances of validation here to show how we must all be aware of our own needs for validation. It’s not a them issue is an us issue, a human issue.
eg. Let’s say you enter a professional relationship with someone with whom you are working on a goal of yours. But you realize that whatever has stopped you from achieving this particular thing before is a point of frustration for you. Even though this current relationship is in place to finally achieve this solution. And instead of being able to move forward with the project, you need to spend an inordinate amount of project time and meetings discussing your frustrations, thereby holding back your progress. After 2-3 months of always venting your frustration with the external factor, the professional you’ve hired would like to move forward and point this out to you, but you feel strongly that they are cold and inform them of such and accuse them of lacking empathy.
In this scenario, the constant repetition of a situation is a clear sign that you need to step back and do the important work of self validation in order to be able to set your priorities right and move forward with the project.
3. You will project on to people which is not appreciated and make a mess out of your social relationships.
4. Ultimately, you will annoy people because you wear your need for validation on your sleeves unawares, but more discerning people can tell and it can be distracting to say the least, when it is not wreaking social havoc for you.
I would know because I have probably made everyone of these mistakes as many people who have suffered emotional trauma do.
How to be self aware and know when you need to do more self validation
When you experience the following:
How to Validate Yourself Properly
1. First you need to understand the phenomenon of mirroring and projection.
The safest form of mirroring is to trust what resonates with you and not what is mirrored back to you (because that isn’t always congruent with who you are internally). This would mean you must trust what resonates with you as an indication of who you are. That person you admire, yeh you’re them on the inside. That thing you wish you could do, well guess what, it’s actually already on the inside. Because poor societal mirroring has buried it and gaslighted you into thinking you are something that you aren’t.
Our heroes aren’t the people we would like to be but the people we are. You admire someone because they are a reflection of you. You just aren’t conscious enough to see this.
2. Cultivate the muscle of identifying what resonates with you and taking it as the true mirror of your real self. When you begin to do this you will feel both relief and fear at the same time. relief that you’re free to enjoy the resonance and fear because you’ve never been this far before and are not sure what the implications of beginning to see yourself in your heroes might be.
3. Develop an inner narrative of telling yourself who you are. To do this you need to develop an inner mentor who you spend time with specifically for repairing your inner narrative and sovereignty, and to validate you. Carve out specific time with this inner mentor or imagine they are there for you when you are triggered or in crisis. And talk your feelings out to this person.
Again, this is not the easiest thing to do, but once you get accustomed to it, you’ll reap the benefits.
Have this person respond to you in a letter. So you’ll need to keep a journal. And write to yourself what you wish the person would say to you and how you wish they’d say it. Spend as much time as you need with the person to feel that you are heard and validated, not abandoned or left abruptly.
People will disappoint you but I guarantee that your inner mentor(s) are perfect and will never disappoint you, because they are you.
4. Trust yourself when it validates you. Learn to accept the compliment. Allow it to soothe you.
If you’re having trouble doing this, here’s a card with affirmations you can download and repeat to begin daily to bridge the gap between you and yourself.
There I said it!
Image by AMZ Consulting Company Limited