Stay Happy by Validating Yourself

Everyone needs validation–the affirmation that we did a job well done, or that we are valued, wanted, and attractive to other people.  However, some have a higher need for validation than the rest.

The high need for validation usually originates in childhood – when a child did not experience enough attention or validation, he or she grows up seeking that attention as an adult. Often, they end up paying an enormous emotional or social price as they’ll be more likely to enter abusive relationships or have brief, fleeting friendships.

Look at the following behaviours and see if you or someone you know experience any of these:

  • People think you are self-centred and shy away
  • You have a hard time attracting trustworthy people or partners
  • You spend a lot of energy being someone others like than being yourself
  • People often take advantage of your kindness
  • You feel sad when you aren’t at the centre of attention
  • You do things to call attention to yourself
  • You feel irritable when you aren’t the main topic of conversation
  • You overachieve at school or your career at the cost of your health or happiness
  • Try too hard to get people to like you
  • You often feel uncomfortable when you say no to favours

These behaviours and feelings are often signs that you (or someone you know) craves for validation.  Unfortunately, the need for validation can never be adequately satisfied by anyone else. It must come from you. Here are some steps you can take to fulfill your need for validation without looking for it from other people:

1) Talk to yourself or write your thoughts in a journal. Rather than seeking compliments from others, make it clear that you like yourself and approve of the qualities you have.

2) Treat yourself like a queen. What with work and the struggles of everyday living, self-care is probably one of the last things on your mind. But the less time you spend on taking care of yourself, the more you will want validation from others. Every once in a while, treat yourself to a massage, or experiment with the way you look by splurging on getting your hair coloured.

3) Give yourself compliments. Know when you’ve done an excellent job and be proud of yourself for it.

4) Be there for yourself, especially when you feel needy. This will be difficult to do since our first instinct is to turn to others when we feel down. But time alone to reflect on things will go a long way in making you more independent and less needy.

5) Learn to see approval around you. There is probably already a constant inflow of attention, love, and support from your friends, family, or coworkers. Stop trying to create validation overtly and learn to recognize that you are valued by those who genuinely care about you.