In doing so, we are defining ourselves by our popularity and the way we’re seen by other people.(We will pause to note the irony of a man whose job depends in no small part by getting people to like him writing about the perils of external validation…) One problem with basing our self-worth on the need for the approval of others causes us to give up our locus of control.In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our need for esteem and belonging come right on the heels of our needs for physical safety; we instinctively want to feel love and respect.This is our sense of validation – the feeling of approval The problem however, is those feelings come from, whether they come from internal or external sources.You are expected to prioritize “hard to get” women (strippers, bartenders, shot girls, models) over others because you’re competing with your “brothers” and regularly sleeping with strippers is a status-symbol within the community.You are pressured to uphold a very particular lifestyle because it’s “more alpha”, regardless of whether that’s where your interests lie.
Even people who seem to be nothing but balls of misery are grasping for external validation, playing for sympathy and confirmation of their special snowflake status as the oppressed victim of a cold and uncaring system that grinds the innocent in it’s cogs.
We’re outsourcing responsibility for our emotional well-being, even our own identity to other people because we want them to think well of us.
We end up giving up who we are in order to conform to others ideas of how we should be.
You see, the question of what you rely on to make you feel good about yourself tells you a lot about how you prioritize the importance of how others see you versus how you see yourself.
We’re talking, of course, about your source of validation: whether you rely on validation from others or whether you rely on internal validation.