Validation… what is it?
“Emotional validation is the process of learning about, understanding, and expressing acceptance of another person’s emotional experience.”
Self-Validation is: “According to Psychology Today, self-validation is the act of accepting our own internal experience, including our thoughts and feelings.”
With self-validation we say, “I think I did a good job on that, nice.”
Validation of others, say your mom, sounds like, “What a helpful thing to do, thank you for picking up your toys.”
Or if you played Varsity football, your dad may have said, “Way to keep your head on a swivel, looked like you were running for your life out there. Tough loss. You showed good character by not quitting early, way to play it through to the end.”
Then there is the base level of validation that some people never seem to receive. When it’s missing, they seem to retreat inside themselves and feel as if they are invisible.
As an Emerging Man you may have developed some rough outer bark, to fend off any uneasy feelings you may have concerning your own invisibility.
And harbor some animosity towards other men whom you believe to be to soft because of their nasty habit of talking about working through their inner emotions… which cause them mental anguish… because they feel they have never received any validation.
Here is a simpler word that reflects the same kind of feelings… acknowledged.
Have you ever had one of those awkward moments, at work, when asked to come in for a meeting, and you try to introduce yourself to all the players in the conference room… and one guy just totally ignores you… he tries to play it off because of all the staff… but you can see he is not acknowledging you on purpose.
Who knows why there are people like that in the world.
Now take that moment of anger and embarrassment and apply it to a persons daily life.
When you feel you have received no validation in life you carry those types of feelings around with you all day, every day.
The trick then is to put the definition into practice… first with our self-validation… then with the [this phrase is critical] UNSOLICITED VALIDATION of others out in the world.
We start our life’s work of building ourselves into the man we believe we can be… and then… as unsolicited validations come our way… we can take those, with the proverbial grain of salt, because we know they are responding to… not some GREATNESS on our part… but they are responding to all the hard work you have put in thus far… and it allows you to project your presence out into the world now…
with true, manly, confidence.
After putting in the work on ourselves, to learn about ourselves, we can see how others are “chasing their tale” when it comes to slavishly soliciting the validation from others they so crave.
Then we wonder why it took us so long to see we were doing the same thing.
As a young man you may not be aware of needing validation throughout your life.
It’s simple really. All validation is, is someone seeing you… seeing you do something right, and pointing that out to you.
Then you know, “I’m not invisible. I matter.”
If you don’t go chasing vain validation, and you let unsolicited validation find you, you will find it reveals what you have been working towards this whole time… it will ACKNOWLEDGE your MANLINESS. Both the manliness that the world perceives [like the pretty lady at the end of the bar commented on] and the self aware manliness that we feel we are becoming… it gives us just enough confidence…
just enough that allows us to ENCOURAGE, EQUIP & ENGAGE… first ourselves… and then those we may be responsible for.