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10 Comments to
Seeking Validation from the Wrong People Is Self-Destructive

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  1. im not giving a chance to say something what really i mean.. for that i want to validate myself.

  2. I think is not possible to get Selfvalidation when a person grows in a disfunktional family and later recreates the same situation as in their origin family without to have any interaccion with another Person, that gives him the adecuate feedback to get a sense of rightness to their own feelings and to set them free from the manipulation of the abuser. Nice theory, but the praxis shows another reality.
    Best regards

    • One of the points I was trying to make in the article is that the ultimate goal here would be to learn self-validation instead of routinely looking for external validation and possibly staying mentally dependent on others or feeling disappointed, hurt lost, and confused after encountering invalidation.

      It’s a long and complicated process, though. I think your right in saying that a person needs external, objective validation from someone that cares about them, at least once in their life. This is an idea that psychologist Alice Miller referred to as ‘enlightened witness’ or ‘caring witness.’

      All the best!

      • I think you are right! … how’s that for validation

      • If a parent says “You slob! Just look at your room. It looks like a pig pen!” the child will think “Im a slob.”
        If the parent says “I get frustrated when I see your socks on the floor. Would you be willing to work together so the house stays neat?” the child will think “Daddy is frustrated.”

      • You are so right. It is a long and complicated process and has taken me many years to not go back to those that hurt me so much. I have grieved for the loss of my family of origin that they have not and will not see what their behaviour has done. On the other hand I know where it has come from and with that understanding it has made healing easier.

  3. Self-validating thought for someone mired in a negative self-concept: “We are not put on this earth to be against ourselves. Such a thing would make no sense. As of now I am behind myself and support myself regardless of how great or wonderful I am at any particular thing. I will befriend myself and stand up against the inner critic who is actually just another’s abusive voice taken up residence in my psyche. I will find my own voice and it will be pro me.” (Something like that.)

  4. The reason I’m here, reading this article, is because I recently discovered one of the main reasons for my need for external validation. I’m currently studying to get into a good college. It is about three months until my exams – that are going to shape my future – start, and I really want to do well.
    My mother came into my room a couple of nights ago, and she tells me that no matter what my scores are, she won’t let me go to a college outside my city that is not government-aided. (Because government-aided colleges are cheaper and she would save on the hostel/dorm fees).
    For the past two years, I’m in an advanced training programme to better my chances of getting the college I want. With three months to go, she is basically telling me she doesn’t want to spend ‘too much’ on me.
    I very clearly told her that if she refuses to pay, I will be fine working through college or applying for a loan, but IF I get a score good enough to go where I want, NOTHING can stop me. I will go.
    My younger brother, hearing this discussion, said that we all can cross that bridge when we come to it. He said this calmly, trying to diffuse a situation that was deteriorating rapidly. I, on the other hand, cried myself to sleep because now I knew that my own mother did not and could not encourage me enough, or believe in my abilities.
    The next day she compares my reaction to her statement with my brother’s. She says that she said what she said because she wanted to check my attitude. “Look at your brother’s attitude. He didn’t grow angry and defensive. But you think you are God himself, and that you have control over everything. You’ll never do anything in life with this attitude.” She went on to inform me of the fact that all that I am today is because of her and because of the fact that SHE encouraged my father to let me study. “One word from me and everything will crumble down for you.”
    I cried again, after she left (I don’t cry when I’m provoked, especially not in front of the person doing the provoking.)
    This incident cleared my mind a little from the usual perfect vision we all have of maternal love. For some time, I stopped trying to discount her actions towards me and my analysis led me to believe that she is the reason for a lot of self-esteem issues and other branching problems I have.
    My mother has always cared more for my younger brother. He was born after an unexpected abortion. While he was only 7-8 months old, she had to leave him with my grandparents while she went to work in a different town. He was always anti-social and bullied from a young age, both by his teachers and fellow classmates, and I these situations, her maternal instinct used to take over. She has always felt guilty of not being there for him when he was a hapless baby, and every action or thought of hers towards him, is to compensate for this guilt. Which left me, the older sibling, a girl, to fend for herself. I have seen the times when she celebrate his little achievements – things that would earn ME nothing more than a smile from her.
    I have turned out to be an over-achiever, focussed on academics. I know I have low self-esteem and I have a lot of self-criticism, all of which can be traced back to this lack of love from a place that should usually be filled with unconditional love. Because of lack of care from my mother, I keep looking towards others to tell me I am good enough. All the small and big rejections faced from that quarter have made me some one who seeks external validation constantly.
    I cannot and will not confront her with this epiphany of mine regarding her, because I know how she will react. She will shift the blame to me, just like she has always done. My dad fought with her today? Because I said or did something. The food on the stove got burnt? Because I was there, telling her about my day.
    One day, I will let her know how much effect she has had on me. But today, I’m writing this to let everyone know that it’s the small things that break you. So don’t think something is small just because a person you’re SUPPOSED to love has done it. Recognise their behaviour. Act accordingly. Seek professional help.
    -Alyssa Khan, Pune City, India.

  5. When searching for support during boundary attacks from others, invalidating comments (from my supposed support system) included “Just keep being nice….and one day she’ll be nice back”,”You should know that she sometimes says things that she shouldn’t…. but she doesn’t mean what she says”, “Just don’t think about it”, “Don’t talk about it, you’re making me angry”, “I just want everyone to get along”, “Be nice to her”,”She’s just being friendly”, “Isn’t she friendly”, “She has a good heart”,”Just make sure you keep visiting/inviting her”, “Just make sure you always pick up the phone when she calls”, etc, etc. After years of pain I finally realized that my supposed support system were offering me up as the punching bag (so they wouldn’t be attacked). I used to waste my energy trying to win their support but now I grey rock them and my life is better.

  6. This was like a soothing message to me. Thank you so much.


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