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6 Signs You Need External Validation

So I’ve been wondering, “If something great happens in your life, and you put it on FB but nobody likes it, did it really happen?”

In our age and time it’s hard not to be addicted to external validation. It’s hard not to crave other people’s approval. I was in a social gathering once, and this person (A) was complaining about how she left a comment on her friend’s (B) picture. B went to like all the comments on her picture except A’s. So A got really pissed off and decided to delete the comment.

Moments like these make me grateful am not on Facebook.

So how do you know if you’re addicted to external validation;

  • You constantly seek attention on social media. Posting all your sad stories on FB might be your personal form of ranting and that could be okay until you become obsessed with how many people liked and commented on those stories.
  • You explain yourself when you make a mistake. I noticed this in school a lot. Some students would  make a mistake, and then when they recognize it’s a mistake, they’d try to explain why they misunderstood the question…etc.
  • You live your life according to what I personally call (S-A-S)…the Socially Acceptable Story or in Swahili, “Watu watasema nini?” So you always make decisions based on what your society deems as acceptable. But here’s the thing;
    • People will always talk. As long as you don’t fulfill 100 % of their expectations, they’re going to talk.
    • It’s very exhausting to fulfill 100 % of their expectations. It’s actually impossible. Many of the people who pretend to do that turn out to be double-faced liars anyway…
    • Since they’re going to talk if you don’t fulfill 100 % of their expectations, and it’s impossible to fulfill 100 % of their expectations, ergo they’re going to talk. So give them something to talk about. Your role in this is to just stop listening.
  • You think you’re the center of the universe. What’s funny is that we all think the exact same thing, so to your colleague you definitely are not the center of the universe, he is. In other words, whenever you find yourself thinking, ‘What will s/he think about me?’ just remind yourself that ‘S/he is probably thinking about him/herself right now. Nobody really cares about you. Except maybe your mother.’
  • You start doubting yourself when people disapprove of you or treat you unkindly. The way people treat you is more a reflection of them than of you so chillax.
  • You’re uncomfortable saying no or voicing your true opinion.

So do you always seek other people’s approval? Are you an external-validation-addict? How does the need for external validation manifest itself in your life? Leave your comments below.

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Also, check out my short story collection, “All Bleeding Stops and Other Short Stories from the Kenyan Coast,” and the non-fiction book summarizing a lot of ideas in the personal development field if you want to change your life but don’t know where to start, “Mine your inner resources”.

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Published inPersonal DevelopmentSelf-loveSociety