We are fundamentally social creatures. It is one of the reasons social media sites have exploded in the last decade. We love to air our opinions, have conversations, know what everyone is up to and what not.
Our education system, our friends, our jobs all revolve in a realm of competition where you are consciously or unconsciously compared. Our work, our actions, our very thoughts are deeply impacted by what others perceive us to be, whether those perceptions are voiced or not.
On another level, it is sad we have evolved thus. In ancient hunter gatherer days, isolation from society meant certain death. Hence, the lack of validation from peers instantiate the same fear mechanisms that we have for physical obstacles.
When I was younger, it was much easier to receive that validation. Thus, without my knowledge, I became addicted to that sense of smugness that validation brought. As I grew older, the sources of validation became scarcer. Naturally, like any addict, I sought it more aggressively. Then, the voices became feebler and slowly tapered down to nothing.
I had made validation a metric of my progress in life and that ruined me. Then something in my head clicked. It was like a tiny twinkling of a star on a new moon night. I did not like myself. To escape that feeling, I yearned to hear someone else say that they appreciate my existence. The root of my problem, was that I did not fulfill the expectations of myself, not anyone else's.
I need validation. Because, after food, clothing and shelter, I entered into another tier of needs. A sense of purpose. That purpose was partially fuelled by validation. I just changed the source where I went to seek for it. The only effective method to achieve peace from validation is self-validation. No one, not the ones closest to me, not the ones who've been the longest with me, know my vision, know my story. I do not have the luxury of hating myself, because I have just the one soul. So I resolved to work with what I have, and celebrate it. Because I found, it's not that bad after all :)