In the shoes of others

My need for validation

- I don't really know how to phrase it, but I guess what I kinda want people to understand about me more is my need for validation, whether that's academic, sport, males, friends, anything... I don't have much of a sense of self gratification, I don't like to reward myself, I need others to show me that reward, or to give me that praise, rather than being able to see it for myself.

- How does it translate in your life, how does it affect it?

- If I do well on an exam or whatever, I will only feel good about that if I tell someone about it and get praise from them. If I done well on a test, I will need to tell my mom or my best friend and to get a « Oh well done, that's very good! » from them...

- And if they don't react, how does it make you feel?

- A bit, sort of down about it... it happened with my dad a few times, especially with sport, like after a good match where I feel I did pretty well, and after he'd be like « Oh good, but you could have done that... » or « Oh I saw a couple of times you didn't... » and I'm like « Oh, okay » and I feel bad sometimes about it...

- How do you feel when someone is very supportive then?

- I love it... the people that probably helped me most were helpful through their support. Even tiny things...

- Do you think this is something we all seek for as a species, and why?

- Yeah, definitely...

- So what's the aim, why are we craving for validation?

- (A friend intervenes) I feel like it's the need to kind of feel part of something, you've done something good, you feel you're on the same level, because people as well compare themselves a lot to others like « We've all done it before, I've done it before », and some more than others, but the majority of people I'd say yeah, there's a little bit in you where you want to kind of, if you compare yourself and they say « Oh that's really good! » you know, you've got that validation that maybe you are on the same level as them, or on the same level as someone you want to be... yeah, I definitely think as a species we do that quite a lot. Even if we don't notice ourselves doing it.

- So maybe the fear behind that is not to feel alone, left behind or something?

- Yeah...

- So, let's say that you challenge yourself and say « Okay, in six months, I want to be able to run ten kilometers without stopping, but I won't tell anyone ». And because you won't tell anyone, you won't have any praise or comments whatsoever. How do you feel about the idea?

- I love the idea of that! Thinking that I'd be able to do that would make me feel awesome!

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This is a participation to a social project to promote empathy and fight discrimination.

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