VALIDATE ME, OK!

Today’s topic is validation, especially it’s relationship to mental health and how validation can operate on social media platforms.

How valid is the human need for validation?

And what exactly is validation?

This is the Psychology Today definition….

Understanding Validation: A Way to Communicate Acceptance. … Validation is the recognition and acceptance of another person’s thoughts,feelings, sensations, and behaviors as understandable. Self-validation is the recognition and acceptance of your own thoughts, feelings, sensations and behaviors as understandable.

And here is my summerSHINES one…

“Validation is putting yourself, your thoughts, feelings, and your physical appearance clearly out there, in the hope you will find acceptance and positive judgement to confirm your acceptability.”

Seeking validation is a test of self-worth.

In an uncertain world with this much change, flux and turmoil, validation seeking is an (in my view), adaptive emotional strategy to generate positive outcomes and positive appraisals of the self from external sources.

To get something validated is to seek outside confirmation and proof of something.

If one person believes something does that make it true?

If fifty people believe something does that make it more true?

We all know of times where the majority gets something wrong, and the person with the lone quiet voice gets it right…however most of the time people like to consult a pool of people on something and feel reassured when the majority express a particular viewpoint. Validation seeking, essentially, is seeking proof from as many sources as possible that you are a valuable, competent, likeable and attractive human being.

We all want to be seen as valuable, competent, likeable and attractive to other members of our human tribe. That is not always in a conforming sense. ie…you don’t have to be like everyone else in order to be perceived as valuable, competent, likeable and attractive to humankind. In actual fact, the people who really stick out in life and are revered for their personal attractiveness as humans are atypical/unusual/out of the ordinary and very different.

We can seek (if we are oriented that way) to seek validation of how similar we are to the gang…or, alternatively we can seek out validation of our extraordinariness/our atypicalness/our unusualness/our uniqueness/our quirkiness/our fresh way of thinking and perceiving life, situations and relationships.

I would rather be validated in the latter way. I would rather be validated for standing out in whatever way happens when I am truly my authentic self.

I know I could be different and act different, but I would rather create a name for myself by being myself…as being yourself (when you get the hang of it), is the easiest thing to maintain…far easier to maintain your authenticity, than to maintain a life of acting, pretending, faking and hiding. That option takes WAY MORE EFFORT.

“I would rather piss people off by being myself, than be adored for being something I patently am NOT”.

When you are totally your authentic self and people don’t like you, the downside is it can hurt probably slightly worse when you’re socially rejected, BUT when you are yourself, and people like you for that, the pleasure of any positive attention is magnified ten-fold.

Do you wanna know how to feel positive about yourself and maintain that?

The answer is…BE YOU, and find your unique tribe who like you for you. It’s that simple.

Every human has a tribe. You just have to be yourself and wait for them to flock to you.

Believe me, they will flock.

Inauthenticity is as obvious as poor applied poor quality & overly dark fake tan. You see a orange person walk towards you, and you scream in your mind “FAKEEEEE!!!!!!”

If you have Tourette syndrome you may even actually say it.

We can spot fake a mile off.

Fake makes us uncomfortable.

Fake-ness repels.

Fake makes us look….pretty?

Nope….pretty awful actually.

Real is attractive. Real makes us enticing to other people who live on your vibe and want to be part of your tribe.

Real people have the confidence to REVEAL themselves as they are.

Real people set out their “THIS IS ME” stall and wait for the punters to turn up and rummage through your personality stall and say,

yep this one. I like you. You are exactly my favourite and best kind of human”!

I like validation. I like positive attention. I like reassurance. I like to be told “well done”. I like to be appreciated. I like to feel I have had a positive effect on the mood, feelings and wellbeing of others. When I get encouraging blog comments it encourages me to keep blogging, because at the end of the day I operate this blog for free with no pay-check. The only pay-check available is the abstract sense of personal satisfaction I get from doing whatever it is that I’m doing.

I like to write a blog and people to read it. I like to get new followers. I like people to say a post has provoked reflection and helped people see something in a different light. I like to be told I have made someone laugh, or even cry in empathic recognition. I like to affect people emotionally and inspire them. I like people to remember me. I don’t want to be forgotten or left behind.

When I post on social media or on this blog, I hope for nice responses. I think that’s fairly standard human nature with us being human tribe members.

Are we really that different from primates? (That’s another post!)

I was criticised for my EXCESSIVE need for validation last week. Someone else judged my human impulse for nice positive strokes and supportive encouragement was a type of psychological glitch….something to be ashamed of.

What I would argue in response is that if I sought validation from a place of not being my real self and just faking a particular role, then perhaps it could be seen as a “attention seeking” gesture, purely to generate a swathe of complimentary but unreal positive feedback.

When I seek validation, there is nothing insincere or inauthentic about it. I don’t purport to be anything that I’m not, or anything better than I truly am.

I am just me, being me, doing me, feeling me, living me.

What is so wrong about self-expression of your authentic self on social media?

Is that really wrong?…is it?

I think presenting yourself as a ‘fake but ideal’ person is perhaps less desirable, but still a human choice to do. I certainly though don’t believe that it is wrong to be as you are, and to hope for acceptance and kindness and encouragement back from your fellow human tribe members.

Is my need for validation a shameful secret to be kept behind closed doors?

Is my need for validation any different from your need for validation?

Some people are generally more successful at attracting positive validation back from others. Somebody said to me lately I had “people eating out of the palm of my hands”

….saying that implies manipulative and twisted intent, when actually there is NONE.

…there is nothing but purity and transparency about my drive to receive supportive validation online.

I don’t hide that I want my friends to support me, and I don’t present any front on social media whatsoever. The only “front” I guess I can admit to doing in a small way is aiming to write positive things on my blog wherever possible, even if I’m in a shitty mood….but really that is not fakery…that is just an effort to create output that people will want to read and be positively impacted by reading.

If I want to moan, I tend to do it on Facebook or messenger rather than my summerSHINES blog. I don’t tend to enjoy reading blogs that are entirely cathartic moaney ones. I like blogs where the writer constructs and sculpts some kind of appealing content and original thought.

But aside from my effort to try and inspire (which I personally believe is a good thing) I am me, warts and all.

I blog when I’m happy and elated. I blog when I’m excited. I blog when I’m worried, fearful, angry, resentful, hopeful, gutted, empty, bursting, reflecting, celebrating, hating- just plain F.E.E.L.I.N.G fucking anything! I have no airs and graces. I have no fronts or acts. I have posted vlogs of me crying on YouTube. I have ranted and sworn and cursed about absolutely everything and anything! I have discussed the time I had an endoscopy FFS!

It is all me, social media snapshots of the myriad of colours and black and whiteness that makes me me. I am not selective. You see the whole spectrum of SHINE, even the dullness that sometimes hits.

Judge me if you like, but I have an emotional need for this type of attention which is deep rooted, but also very understandable.

To judge the human need for validation as abnormal is to condemn the majority of the human race.

Why should be feel bad for having emotional needs and forming social relationships that fulfil those needs?

I won’t feel bad for it.

Next time someone says to you you’re being “attention seeking”…reply, “yes…I am…….do you know what?…it turns out I’m normal!”

That’ll shut them up.

Don’t feel shame for wanting other humans to be kind and supportive to you and not wanting people to drag you down or dim your shine.

There is nothing wrong with being who you are.

If people have a problem with you being you, always remember it is not up to you to bear the burden of someone else’s problem. It is up to them to own their problem, and not project it onto you.

Stand firm.

Be you.

You ARE valid.

You are ok.

To seek validation is absolutely OK and very normal.

If you ask me, anyone who has difficulty accepting you as you, needs to first examine themselves as them.

summerSHINES©

PS. THIS IS ME SEEKING VALIDATION BY SHOWING A PHOTO OF ME WITH MY R.E.D (RUN EVERY DAY) JANUARY MEDAL WHICH ARRIVED TODAY AND I AM VERY PROUD OF ;)


…..see…it’s ok! Why not be overt about it.

“VALIDATE ME GODDAMMIT!………

……..I’M ONLY HUMAN” :P

“Give me real don’t give me fake”

Coldplay

 

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “VALIDATE ME, OK!

  1. Pingback: Confusion, self denial and validation – Emerging From The Dark Night
  2. This quiet simply made me cry..I often feel selfish for needing validation…what you write is true…its just so many humans cant and won’t validate us..but if so why not shut up and not criticise? One time I didnt validate your running as I was frightened that exercise could be an escape..but thinking about it I saw I was mistaken…your voice is strong and that is you! ☺ even though some times I am sure you feel so vulnerable.

  3. My lovely xx I do fight for the weak and I do try my best for others when I’m feeling crap myself. I get a lot of affirmation and appreciation from people, but that is because of how much I invest into people. I give myself to others to try and transform them. Sometimes I cannot have that impact on a person. I can only aid those who are open to that help. You were open to me and that is why I could help you. I’m glad I met you darlin 😘😘😘 PS. You write so well…I’d love for you to blog. You’d be epic competition for me 😁 Xx

  4. Thanks for your kind comments. Authenticity is a theme underpinning a lot of my writing as being authentic was only something I began to feel able to do relatively recently when my breakdown began. Ironically I had to completely lose it, in order to gain knowledge of who I really was. Being validated for who we authentically are is a great way to bolster self esteem. Acting the part and being validated for that has no impact on wellbeing, as we feel undeserving of that validation. This is a first stab for me too about writing about something that has many different layers to it. I’ll write more 👍 so can you 😊

  5. An honest and insightful treatment of an important topic!

    I recently wrote about authenticity on my blog, and while I covered quite a bit of the topic, I didn’t have the space to much more than hint at the relationship of validation to it. Wish I hadn’t run out of space and had seen your post first.

  6. That’s a really good point! I am uniquely me on social media because I hope to attract people who are like me. I have a gap where my parents and siblings used to be, so my social media friends plug that gap, and unlike life before with my birth family, my social media pals don’t try and mould me into being anything I’m not. I bless the internet for helping me find nurturing friendships with people who are my kind of people 😊😊

  7. A lot of us want validation on social media because we don’t get it from our families or anyone else.

    Maybe we don’t know anyone who enjoys poetry, art or crafting the way we do. Blogs and social media help us find people of like nature. We can learn important things from each other.

    It is so wonderful to share thoughts with others. It is really a privilege to get to know another human being. We are all precious and valuable.

  8. I stumbled and I mean stumbled across summer exactly one year ago. Possibly at one of my darkest parts of the last year. I have followed and read every blog post. Shared emails, texts and messages. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the down right dark times she’s experienced in the last year. The moments when she thought there was no sunshine. The times you’d expect her to only think of her own self and her dark thoughts. Even in those times, I’ve watched and witnessed her be there for others. Even when she herself was in the sinking earth, she gave herself to others as a friend. She listened, she cared, she inspired. Now some I believe seem to think this is summer seeking attention and validation. Well let me enlighten you on something…. several times in the last 12 months I’ve thought about walking away from life, my world, my family, friends and children. For reasons I would only ever share with those I trust. I trust Summer. She knows more about me, than any other person on this earth plain. She listened, she held my hand and was there for me at times I thought I’d never get through. Not once did she rubbish my demons or fears. No she actually acknowledged them, and allowed me to see that although I may have not suffered the same as some, my demons were still real. She didn’t dismiss me or tell me to get over it. No she has been my friend. Just that. A friend. She listened, no matter how daft or insignificant my demons maybe. And she’s built me up, every single day of the last 365. She’s kept me alive for my loved ones, friends and family. That deserves attention and validation. Because to live through what she has, that my friends is inspirational. But besides that, she fights for others. Even in her darkest moments. So if you don’t appreciate the love and wonderful human that summer is, I suggest you toodle off and take your dark cloud elsewhere. This and summer are a place of sunshine, positivity, inspiration and possibility. The possibility that no matter what you’ve endured through your life, there is the opportunity to shine. Just as summer does. Love, light and sunshine to you all. Summer, there really aren’t enough thank yours xxx

  9. I am absolutely delighted at that Liz 💕💛 I’m so glad you’re tapping into your creative side. Your support means the world to me…HUGS 😊😊

  10. I like everything about you that has already been said here. I love todays post which is brilliant, so thank you for sharing. Yes, I bet all of us in some way want to feel validation, whether we verbally ask for it, or secretly keeping it quiet and hoping to hear validation. (I have been the latter.)
    I love your medal and you deserve to show it off, as this was a huge achievement for you.
    I would like to thank you for the things I participated in, that you started, like your sharpie Sunday. Although I have been quiet on the sharpie front on my blog, there has been some sharpie drawings behind the scenes just for me, that I needed to do so I could get it out of my system.
    You then got me on the doodling, which I still do. 🙂

  11. I’d much rather be liked for my unashamed real-ness than anything I might pretend to me. 😊 Pretending isn’t me. I like the liberation of saying things straight, as I see them 👊

  12. We all want to be seen and heard. We blog because we want people to read our words, or look at our pictures, or other artwork. I don’t (and hope I never) understand why people criticize on social media or on blog comments. That part of human behavior astounds me.
    I, my friend, see you, hear you and am cheering you on! ❤️👏🏼🤓👊🏼❤️

  13. I am so glad it rang true for you :) I will do some more posts on validation and mental health and social media…this was just a stating point :)

CHAT TO ME (I am actually human)

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