One significant human need is to belong. We want to know that we are part of a family, a community, a team, a friendship – somewhere where we know that we matter.

This blog is about the importance of feeling validated. Validation refers to the recognition and acceptance of another person’s point of view. We are all entitled to have our own thoughts and feelings. When others attempt to minimize or challenge our perspectives, it may cause us to doubt our selves.  We may even abandon our own thoughts and adopt theirs. In doing so, we slowly start to lose our own identity.

When we give another person the power to minimize us, we are giving them the power to control us. We are no longer being our authentic selves. We modify who we really are and what we really feel, to gain other people’s approval.

That becomes how we know we are ok – based on others’ opinions and approval. We then find ourselves on a subconscious journey seeking validation from others, because we don’t feel it within us. We look for it externally. We need to feel that we matter.

It’s often not obvious that we are doing this. What does it look like? Here are some examples:

Always doing things for other people – being of service to others.

I believe that having a spirit of service to give to others is a gift that not everyone has.

However, if you regularly sacrifice your own needs in the name of service – then it’s likely in search for some type of recognition from others.

Being an over achiever – attaining higher status in the eyes of your family or peer group.

Being self motivated and driven is an admirable trait and it certainly leads to success. If it is done only to ‘prove’ to others that you are better than they think you are, will you feel a sense of accomplishment or will you feel like a fraud, that you really don’t deserve it?

Bragging to others about your strengths and your accomplishments – consistently.

We don’t want others to shut us out – however, some people feel a need to make sure everyone knows who they are in an ‘in your face’ manner and they don’t demonstrate any humility.

Becoming what some call ‘a puppet’ or ‘a doormat’ – accepting abuse, not standing up for yourself, letting others walk all over you or take advantage of you. This leaves us feeling resentment and bitter – often directed at the other person when it is really us who didn’t ask for what we wanted.

True validation comes from within. It is important for us to have the self worth necessary to function in a healthy way. When we have self worth, we have zero tolerance for those who attempt to invalidate us and we stand tall and strong for who we are and what we believe.

It is important that we surround ourselves with people who are loving, non judgmental and open to and accepting of who we are and our perspectives.

Look for my upcoming blog entitled: Getting Back to Happy