When Seeking Validation Becomes an Obsession

seeking validation

What makes us seek validation from outside of ourselves?

Relying on the validation of others for building our own self-worth stems from not being able to receive the correct affirmations as a child.

You don’t necessarily have to come from a broken home to have problems with self-worth and confidence.

Every child has a unique and individual need by which they respond well to love and nurturing from their environment.

Likewise, any slight from an authority figure could also either be taken lightly or crush their spirit.

For example, one child could think nothing of their parents being too busy to play with them while another child could be totally crushed.

The hurt child could perceive it as rejection, viewing it as them having low self-worth or value to the parent.

A child growing up within a broken home does cause personal problems of self-worth and confidence in the same way a child growing up in a home where there is a lack of emotional security, warmth, and nourishment.

It is not about the void of people in their life, but the void of emotional security that didn’t come when they needed it most.

Who is to blame?

When we get down to the root of the problem it all comes down to if the child was provided with the love, care, and attention that responded to their style of need.

It is too easy to blame our parents, our environment, or other factors for our childhood scars and wounds, but can it change the past?

Here is a shift in perspective…

Parenting styles and relationship behaviors are in correlation with how we were raised and the experiences we had.

If our parents couldn’t provide us with the correct style of love and care are we to believe that they weren’t also loved and cared for in that same way as a child?

Of course, this does not dismiss your pain and suffering, nor does this excuse any sort of childhood abuse that anyone has had to endure.

This perspective is to only help us better understand the situation so that we may grow and evolve from our pain.

If we don’t grow and evolve past our pain, then we become stuck in it. Our past becomes our present where we have to relive the torment and suffering each and every day.

Side note:

It is also not fair to disregard another’s past emotional suffering due to whether they had other resources provided to them.

There are situations where others will act indifferently toward another’s childhood scars because they either had both parents present in the home or they had been provided adequate financial resources growing up.

Believe me when I say that many, many individuals would give their material comforts just to feel the warmth and love they wished for as a child.

Pain and suffering do not only affect one race, culture, gender, age, or socioeconomic background.

Why it only makes us happy short term

seeking validation
source: wokandapix

This is where it gets tricky.

If you lacked the correct affirmations needed in childhood, then you already have an empty love tank, to begin with.

As an adult, you jump into the world with this empty love tank tirelessly trying to fill it up in the present while never haven even beginning to fill up the void of the past emptiness.

When we look for validation outside of ourselves it only becomes a band-aid for our emotional past wounds.

Everything might feel better at the moment with outside approval and validation, but you don’t know how bad the wound is until you take off the band-aid and really examine the wound.

If the wound is too deep keeping a cover over it can even potentially make it become a lot worst over time.

Any wounds especially emotional wounds need a certain type of care and attention to heal properly.

When validation from others becomes an obsession

Like anything in life that can make us feel good, it can turn lead into obsession and addiction.

It takes over us, we begin to need it all the time and a lot more of it each time.

Validation and approval from others becomes our choice of medicine to alleviate our emotional pain and emptiness from those who didn’t love us for who we were in the past.

As previously stated,

If we don’t grow and evolve past our pain, then we become stuck in it. Our past becomes our present where we have to relive the torment and suffering each and every day.

You can tell when it becomes an obsession where you will do anything to receive love, approval, attention, and admiration from others.

You might resort to acting out in ways that are opposite to your true self (your morals and values).

Are willing to harm yourself and or others to receive the type of validation that you seek.

Seeking validation from others keeps us in a negative cycle

When we are used to seeking external validation we never rely on our own judgment or discernment.

The opinions of others about ‘’us’’ becomes the opinions of ourselves. As a result, this makes us a slave or a puppet to what others think of us.

It is a two-sided coin…

When you depend on people to build you up, you also give them the same power to break you down…

Every time we give others authority over our self-worth, we hurt and sabotage ourselves more in the making.

Sometimes the ones giving these opinions aren’t even our friends or loved ones, nonetheless, we are still gravely affected by their opinion of us.

Why does this happen…?

How to free ourselves from the trap of external validation

seeking validation

Let’s take a deep breath for a second.

Emotional scars are never easy along with having a deep wounded childhood.

From this exact moment, you need to understand two very important things.

Your past is not your future.


Only you can change your life and decide how you want to live it.

Do you know why external validation only feels great for a short moment?

It is because deep down it is not their opinions that really matter it is the opinions of the past that haunts us.

This could even be our negative impressions of ourselves in childhood.

In any case, no one’s opinions really matter anyway, to be honest. 

If you want to set yourself free from this self-imposed prison, start by learning to rely on your own opinions and use more discernment on the opinions of others.

That’s the golden ticket!

The ONLY TRUE OPINION that really matters is what you think of yourself.

Besides people in your life can come and go at a moment’s notice. Even friendships of many years can end abruptly over small and petty disagreements.

YOU are always stuck with YOU no matter what. You are your own true ride-or-die friend.

That means you only need to rely on yourself for validation of self-worth and value.

Growing up without a firm foundation of who we are and what our true worth is can make it difficult to even know how to rely on ourselves for this kind of security.

For more information and understanding on self-worth and confidence here are other articles that could be of assistance:

Confidence starts with you!

What makes someone a high value person

How to be more authentic

Advice on inner childhood wounds

Author: Anna Rose

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