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When was the last time you felt the need for external validation to feel good about yourself?
People pleasing can become a learned trait where we look to others to make us feel good about ourselves. It can get messy and we can get caught up in a spiral of seeking outside approval, while losing ourselves. This question has been posed for a post I want to write on the word 'validation' for this week's 'Drop In the Ocean' over on the Buddy Up server in Discord. Thanks to everyone who contributes. :D

We all need others approval or validation in some points in our life. It can be about our personality or our appearance. We may used to live a very freedom life, but sometimes life gives us certain situation where we need approval from others about ourselves to feel better. And I think, it is very normal, there is nothing wrong with it.

I am the person who does not care for others approval in my life much. I always live a life depending on my own decision. Others thought about me does not affects me much in my life. I choose what I felt right. But yeas, there was a situation when , this same person- me broke up in hundred pieces and need my partner and my parents help to get back the confidence in my life.

It was three years back, happened in my first job. As I was one of the top scorer of my University, there was always some ego worked inside me. In my first job, I was one of the efficient worker. I worked in HR. But when it came to get a promotion and yearly increment, I did not get that. Rather I saw another female employee get that with a much lower ranking than me in the job.   

I wish you could understand my feeling. I was like a joke to all in my office. Everybody laughed about my University degree whether it was valid or not. I was neglected by my immediate boss in every second. I could not bear that much and decided to leave the job.

I felt bad about me in every second. And I shared it with my partner and parents. I thought to leave the job without any notice period.

But both party help me understand that how to handle the situation and how not to feel bad. They give me the confidence to appeal to my office head quarter and I got a promotion immediately. T tohe office said it was their review mistake. That was another story.

But what I wanted to say that- I know the ability of me, how much I can get and how much should I get from my life. But that situation made me felt so bad about me. It broke my confidence, my values for me. If my parents and partner would not be there I would come to depression and would made a wrong decision. They help me feel better about me, give me the confidence and I got the validation from my work.    

My story may seems normal life situation to others, but it was the most fragile situation in my life. Coming back from that situation and giving challenge to myself was not easy for me. So we really need people around us who could give us the advice and comfort needed in some situation. It means a lot to us.


Nice question. Do me a favor and drop a link when you're done with the post so I can read it. People pleasing is a trait or character people have which is born from self doubt and a lack of confidence. People pleasers tend to do whatever they have to in order to get the approval of others even when it is entirely unnecessary. There are lots of people pleasers in the world but the thing is, every now and then, everyone tends to find themselves looking for someone else's approval so they can feel better about themselves. I'll use myself as a prime example.

Due to certain events I'd rather not talk about, I found myself floating through life, trying to define who I was. I had lost a crucial component of myself and because of it, I saw myself as less than I really was. I began to care more about what people thought of me and as a result I began to try my best to make them approve of me. Rather I tried to make myself approvable by them. I was a people pleaser through and through. I guess I can say I'm a lucky person because I didn't stay in that phase for very long. A month or two at most. I have a strange sense of self awareness so whenever I start doing something strange, after a while, I realize myself and try to change. I realized that all the things I was doing in the least bit necessary and that I wasn't doing them for myself, I was doing them for others. I realized that if I wanted to change, I'd have to rediscover myself and find out who I really was and what I really wanted to be in life. Not what others expected me to be. It took a while but at a point, I knew myself and I stopped trying to please everybody. And in doing so I learned a very crucial lesson. People pleasers don't do what they do because they want other's approval. They do it because they don't approve of themselves. They are not okay with who they are so they try to change themselves and do what they have to to be different. And once other people start to approve of what they've become, they try to stay like that because they think its the right thing to do.

As I said earlier, it isn't just people with inner turmoil that are people pleasers. We all are. Each and every person experiences that moment of weakness where we feel like we aren't enough so we go outside to try and validate what we should already know. We all have a little self doubt sometimes and this feeling is the gateway to people pleasing. The only difference between us and the others is that the feeling only lasts a short while for us while the permanent people pleasers go through it everyday.

I encourage every person that knows a people pleaser to try helping them discover and appreciate themselves. If you've ever been one then you'll know that even with the approval you crave so much, you still aren't completely happy. I don't wish that upon anyone and so I beg everyone, help someone who has this problem find their self-confidence again.


I feel this need for external validation most at times in particular instances and in some instances i don't think i need it. As for the last time i felt i needed it, that will be just yesterday.

Yesterday, my Choir director asked me to perform a song and when i did, i needed the validation and thoughts of the other choir members on how i did. So this is a particular instance where the validation of others is needed to serve as a form of evaluation of self. Most instances where i need other's validation will mostly be areas i know i am not very good and so in the learning process and constant strive to get better, i cannot just tell myself that i am good. I will need the validation of others to confirm what i think.

Unlike, in areas where i know i am good in them where the validation of others is not needed as much, but i still appreciate it. It is one thing to think you are maybe good in something or feeling great about an aspect of your life, but when it comes from another person, that feeling is different and very special.

So, the validation of others in my personal opinion is always appreciated in most aspects of my life and i use them as guidelines and evaluation systems to become even better and mend some aspects of my life. A perfect example is a singer who is a superstar and knows he/she is good but when they are constantly applauded by their fans of how good they are, they never get tired of hearing that because the truth is, it makes you even confident and happier when your efforts and hardwork is appreciated by others.


I perused the answers and I find I don't like the use of "people pleasing" :)  maybe because that indicates doing something to please someone else. I tend to do that as a means to get people to shut up or leave me alone with less friction. So I people please, or if that does not work I ignore them until they get so upset and never return. I always say I will help at the start but if I consider it to be something you should then be able to do yourself after knowing how then I will not attempt to please you, and the nice thing is that the positive validation they then felt I needed rebounds as they realise that their perspective was incorrect. I don't care much for things like "you are so good at that" or "thank you" They seem empty and most likely because I am assessing them as validation to an act. So do I then need the validation if I discount validation based on degrees? 

I might be confusing myself again and you did get far more succinct answers. 

It starts with doing something, anything really. Something you put a bit of thought into and then it goes out into the world. My intention is never ok I want to do this then they must tell me how great it is. I am able to criticise what I have done with an obvious biased but regardless, I criticise it. This is the first validation and maybe the most important. It is innate, every word we speak to a degree has been weighed by ourselves.  This answer I am typing , will require your validation as the OP - positive or negative, beyond that I have no concern for positive validation from others but they will pass by and they will validate it whether positive or negative. This I can say has no influence on me but it has. It hopefully does not make me throw a tantrum and respond reactively. 

I just realised I have not answered your question. I can only answer it in terms of it depends, maybe it is someone you like, emotional connections automatically require positive validation. So if I am speaking to someone that I like or respect then I would definitely feel good if they validate what I do and say positively. This grows stale anyway and as you get to know the good and bad you will finally reach honest validation where if they dislike it you know it is not a personal thing and you can even take it on board to improve.

The most likely one for me is my work and the general things I do, I create them for customers and it does piss me off if they don't validate that I did well, because the opposite is also present. They will validate if I fucked it up and go mental. In that case I need the validation that my work is good. I do not need it to feel good about myself. 

The things we post etc, sure it is nice when people validate that positively also but is much more to do again with the idea or work and should not be a reflection on yourself. 

I think my big thing with validation and feeling good is that regardless of whether that is your intention, you will receive it and need to deal with whatever emotional reaction it creates. I try to separate personal feelings as much as possible from the things I do that will invariably receive critique, do I still create things based on previous approval? Sure, but I don't see it as seeking approval again I see it as having found something that works. A positive starting point is a hell of a headstart. You still need to take chances or you will stagnate, use outside approval as a guide in stormy weather but always adjust your course to be true to yourself. 

Now I wonder if I did my validation post 🤔


Usually for me, i seldom have this kind of feeling. I guess there are certain moments in our life where we feel like the need for an external validator to validate our worth. There are moments in time I was to be externally validated.

I was working for this boss who wanted everything her way. It had to be her way. Everything from how you did your work to how you behaved. I always felt kind of wasted in some ways when I was working in that environment last year. It was pretty tough to have this constant validation of whether what I did was actually correct or not even though I myself knew that I was right. There are some instances where those who have the power would want to usually abuse their powers and abuse us in some ways.

Lucky for me I left that job. Every weekend when I was home I felt the need to think and reflect on my own and I knew I needed to change a job. That's the only time in my life I felt the need to be validated as it was forced onto me in some ways.


every single day perhaps. everytime i post or comment on steemit, steemhunt or musing, i seek external validation about my comments, thoughts in the form of upvotes. everytime i hear something good about my work, i feel good. although, i rarely actively ask people for an opinion of my work. so do i seek external validation - no, do i feel the need - yes, everyday. 


Even though I've grown in this area - I really think that so much of my life is STILL external validation.  If I do x, then I am y.    y?  because.    lol

but - here is the thing!  

I HAVE grown in this. it took some major hurt to realize that I'm me - and that needs no defense. and right after I thought that, i started figuring out ways to argue the case for it  (or could say.... "validating" it) lol

ahhhh. I think we will always struggle with this.  I really do.  even people who say they don't struggle with it  - do.   it's life.  We are affected by those around us, unless we are Tom Hanks, stranded on an island.

And did you hear how he had to defend himself to that volleyball???   so... I rest my case.  If a bloody volleyball can make us self-conscious, then we're all doomed ;)

it is now 12:40am  and i'm not making sense anymore.

but i have never cried so hard over a volleyball.  anyone else????


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