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The Trap of External Validation for Self-Esteem

In my personal and professional life, I have met and observed many people who are desperately trying to get approval and acceptance from others, who never feel good enough, and who are terrified of social rejection.

For many, hurt and invalidation starts very early and continues throughout their life in one form or another. As a result, many people learn that their fundamental sense of self-esteem and self-worth comes not from within but from others, and so they constantly seek other people’s approval or attention.

One thought on “The Trap of External Validation for Self-Esteem

  • May 3, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Some of this I do not agree with. There have been studies with various mammalian species that when deprived of external validation, certain pathological behaviors are exhibited such as self-harm and aggressiveness. To state that self-esteem is entirely self-dependent resembles more of a solipsistic viewpoint. We absolutely depend on other people’s validation for survival. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist. I’m sorry, but much of this article does not resonate with me. We are living in a society that constantly tells us that we are not good enough and that the undesirables must be eliminated.


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