Greetings of the season!

December, for me, is a time for contemplation, reflection and introspection. It is a time when I take stock of the year that has passed. It helps me make a note of my learnings from situations, experiences and people. It also helps me make a mental note of what needs to be learnt, which in turn becomes my motivation to set goals for the next year.

As I have been contemplating about the body of my work this year, I realize that not just this year, but every year, there has been something common amongst most of my clients, if not all. It is the need for validation. In simple words, it is the need to feel understood. It could be a student who feels the pressure of his parents’ expectations that he is not able to fulfil for different reasons. It could be an unhappy and frustrated employee who feels her potential is being underutilized by her boss. It could be a person or couple seeking improvement in relationship, where one or both are feeling lack of understanding and appreciation.

Validation, to some extent, is a human need, that varies in proportion from person to person. When we receive validation at the right moment, it can make us very happy and the lack of same, at times, can make us feel sad, frustrated, dejected and rejected too. Relationships would be better if everyone understood the importance of validation.

How can Validation help in a relationship?

  1. Validation can convey to the other person that they are important. That you care for their thoughts, feelings and experiences.
  2. To belong to a family, society, group, organization is a basic human need. Validation conveys acceptance to others; their presence is acknowledged. That they are not alone.
  3. Life can often be difficult and confusing. At such times, validation can help the other person feel understood, a feeling that their fear, pain, frustration is normal. Validation helps in boosting confidence at times when there is self-doubt.
  4. Validation is like a reflection of oneself, one’s thoughts and behaviour by another person. It projects one’s choices, values, behaviour pattern, which in turn helps see one’s own personality more clearly. Validation can be a means to self-growth.
  5. At times, self-approval is easier when approval is received from others. This could especially be true in case of children. Children’s self-esteem depends a lot on whether they feel approved or disapproved by their parents/caregivers. When conveyed as approval, validation can help boost self-esteem.
  6. People connect better with each other when they feel accepted. Thus, validation can help build relationships.
  7. When one feels understood, that person is more receptive and willing to understand the other. That helps both of them understand each other’s perspective, which is the key to good communication.

As important as it is to understand how validation can help in a relationship, it is equally important to understand that seeking validation regularly can affect our self-esteem adversely. Often, people around us may not have the sensitivity, empathy or time to validate our thoughts and feelings. It is possible that they may not feel the need for the same. At such times, we may feel frustrated or have self-doubt. If we are always seeking validation from others, we may start feeling we are not good enough. Constant need for approval, appreciation and recognition from others to feel good about ourselves may lead to losing sight of our own strengths and worth, thus converting into low self-esteem.

To help my readers feel strong, worthy and positive about themselves without seeking external validation, I would like to share a simple exercise that I ask some of my clients to practice. I call it the “Validation Journal”. Every time you feel that you have done a task well, be it a good communication, finalizing a deal or gone through a rough day, make an entry in this journal. You can start with “well done” or end with “proud of you”. Only you know how hard you have worked on that particular issue and how well you have performed, nobody else knows that. Hence, you can be that person who validates you. “You are enough!”

Wishing you a happy, healthy, successful New Year 2024!

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 Comments

  1. Shreya December 22, 2023 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Perfect to the point..!! ????????????????????????

  2. Suwarna December 22, 2023 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Nice read Mam,will start validation journal very soon. Thanks for sharing

  3. Vijay December 22, 2023 at 10:18 am - Reply

    You are best placed to validate yourself. Excellent thought, very well expressed, Prerna! From what I have seen and experienced, it is easy to get used to bouquets and even brickbats, but the journey not to expect or become “dependent” on either can be long and hard. Often requires help from someone like you.

  4. priyanshi rastogi December 22, 2023 at 10:59 am - Reply

    It made me realise the importance of validation and how it impacts us as humans. On the journey of becoming independent and strong, being our own pillar can go a long way. Thank you for validating the thought by penning it so well.

  5. Daksha December 22, 2023 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Great read and a good reminder to practice self-validation

  6. Rachna December 22, 2023 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Well written.I myself have experienced the change when I stopped seeking validation from outside and turned inward for my own appreciation and recognition.
    I feel more satisfactory , peaceful and powerful with this practice.

  7. Manali December 22, 2023 at 11:54 am - Reply

    WOW! Truly wonderful read and a great exercise. Very helpful and effective. Love your blogs! Wishing you a Happy New Year in advance.

  8. Tanesha Sharma December 22, 2023 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    What an amazing thought and way to end the year. I believe understanding this concept will help us and everyone around 🙂
    It is such a basic thing yet so significant in our lives, thank you for highlighting it !!
    Happy New Year ????

  9. Kalpana December 22, 2023 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Beautifully expressed. We often say to ourselves not to have any expectations as when they are not met, we get disappointed. Never thought about self praise or writing down our accomplishments in a diary. This simple idea would help not to feel dejected if not appreciated. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea.

  10. Mrs Rashmi Shah December 22, 2023 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    This is so nicely written ! Could completely relate to this .. Really felt better ????

  11. Charul December 23, 2023 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Very true – self-esteem, confidence, strength and worthiness can easily become self-doubt and worthless feeling if we seeking it from others. Journaling your achievements and validating it to self can also boost positivity when feeling low. In addition, it can also help with gratitude and having faith that next time one can manage more. Thank you for sharing this. Brilliant advise. Very useful going into new year. Very grateful to you ❤️

  12. Saroj Shah December 23, 2023 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Very nicely expressed.I never appreciated myself but now I know its value. Thanks for sharing.
    Love you,
    Saroj

  13. Toral December 24, 2023 at 1:04 am - Reply

    Yess, soo much to understand about Validation!!
    I believe if we think outside validation is the only source of nourishment, we will stay hungry for rest of the life. Will try this idea of journaling to help self validation.

  14. Jitesh .v. shah December 24, 2023 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Very well expressed and good reminder to validate, and appreciate ourselves and not wait for others to appreciate or applaud us on any achievement as only we are able to judge ourselves better for all our efforts in doing anything, be it for social cause or working in a corporate world .
    Prerna thanks for sharing and wish u all the best for the new year .

  15. Sudipta December 26, 2023 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Very nice thought mam.
    You have explained it so well.

  16. ADIRAJ NIGAM January 2, 2024 at 8:32 am - Reply

    I have internalized the process of writing a Validation journal at crisis situations and I’ll be forever grateful to Prerna maam for teaching me and letting me experience this therapy. It has helped me to come out of terrible times. It has worked better than any random quick fix third party support.

Leave A Comment