Accepting Bad Behavior for Personal Validation: Toxic Relationships

This post was written by Rhonda Wasserman

Original content by Ashley Berges

Did you know that most people struggle to find validation?  Most of us are unaware that we are even looking for it. Often, we may look outside of ourselves to find validation.  We tend to look to our friends, family, and honestly to anyone we can to find validation.  We need to consider what happens to us mentally and emotionally when we go searching for this validation.  Some of us have struggled our entire lives with validation.  Many of us have looked towards our parents to give us validation, but it seems as though they may have come up short.  As hard as we worked to try and impress them, from getting good grades in school to making the football team, it never seemed to be enough for our parents.

What happens now that we are adults, still searching to find validation from others?  The first thing that happens when we look for outside validation is the fact that most of the people we are looking towards for this validation are not able to validate themselves.  Due to their inability to validate themselves, it is impossible for them to validate us.  The second thing that happens when searching for validation is that since we are not able to get the validation we are seeking, we begin to feel worse about ourselves.  We need validation to feel good about ourselves and since we are not getting it, we begin to beat ourselves up, feeling like we are not good enough.  It creates a cycle pattern that is difficult to get out of.  The third indication is that we find ourselves chasing the person to obtain the elusive validation we so desire.  We find ourselves doing things to try and impress the other person.  Often, we find ourselves doing things we really don’t want to.  This creates more negativity for us.

The fourth indication in our search for validation is feeling that the people we are chasing have power over us.  We are doing whatever we can to get them to see our value and no matter what we do, it does not seem to work.  We feel powerless.  When these people are nice to us, we feel wonderful.  However, when these people are dismissive and ignore us, it can break us down.  Their actions and attitudes directed at us determine our mood and emotional stability. We have given them so much power over us because we want their validation so badly.  Lastly, validation comes from within.  Most of us were not taught this growing up.  This is most likely because our parents were not taught this either.  The need to feel validated by others, all started when we were younger.  Do you remember how important it was for you to be liked by a certain kid in the school?  As we have grown up, this thought process has not changed.  As an adult we are always thinking about the one person that does not like us.  We wonder what we can do to get them to like us. 

In reality, wanting to be liked and looking for validation are the same thing.  It seems as though we are always looking for the next person to be liked by, to validate us.  Once we are able to have our outside validation satisfied from someone we then move on, looking to seek validation from someone else. We are never satisfied by the outside validation. The only validation that truly matters is the one we find from within ourselves. In order to begin to feel better about ourselves we must find this self-validation. 

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