Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Validation ~ Seeking The Wrong Type of Acceptance

Validation, acceptance, approval... it's something that we all one way or another seek out from those around us. It can have a positive or negative effect on a person's life. It all depends on who you seek validation from and why. Validation can have a positive effect and can encourage someone to reach their goals and become successful in life. But the negative effect of it can be detrimental to a person's well being.

Within the last month I have read and heard about several different situations where people did things to fit in or to perpetuate an image of themselves that was false to gain acceptance from others. In these cases, the person involved was seeking validation from the wrong group of people.

The topic of seeking validation reminds me of something I learned in the 9th grade called the "Mob Mentality." The"Mob Mentality" is when you are with a group of people and you go along with what they are doing just because everyone is doing it. You know the action you are doing is wrong; and if you were by yourself you certainly would not behave in that manner. But because you want to be accepted by the group you engage in the inappropriate behavior anyway.

A perfect example of this is how gang members act. They want to be a part of a gang so they do things to show their loyalty and dedication. And in return they receive validation based on what they have done. The things they do for acceptance usually causes harm to innocent people that have no connection to gang life at all. These gang members think they are a part of a family but the truth is they are not. However, they don't figure that out until they get convicted of a crime. Once in jail they see none of their "family" is visiting them and then they realize the so-called loyalty they put in work for is out the window. All the criminal activity they engaged in of course was pointless but even more so pointless because validation and acceptance was never truly obtained. And the end result is they have nothing to show for it... except a long and lonely jail sentence.  

Singer/Actor Tyrese Gibson said it best on Twitter a few weeks ago when he touched on this topic saying:

"Who's hardest? who's the killer? trigger man? who's the OG or baby G? Validation will get you killed or locked up in these streets."

"Validation is the a man's silent killer... you go all out for the homies on the block and get 25 to life... they will leave you for dead."

Its sad that these people (Women and Men) engage in such activity for acceptance. I really don't understand what type of validation is needed and respected if it can only be gained by killing or harming someone. That is not the validation I would want or the type of validation I would want for the people around me.

This craving for acceptance and validation does not only relate to gang members. It is something people yearn for and want so bad but for negative reasons. The desire for it is so strong that people let others think for them and dictate how they should live their lives. Being influenced in a negative direction comes from not being able to stand on your own; which relate back to one's self-esteem.

If you are not happy with yourself, you are going to look for ANY KIND of acceptance and will only feel better about yourself once you've been validated. The worst part of this is that I see people in my age group seeking this type of approval from their friends. It's sad because they are looking for it from other people instead of searching for it within themselves.

"The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are, and not who people think you are." - Goldie Hawn

1 comment :

  1. I've done some dumb things when I was a teenage to fit in. My parents always taught us to be leaders and not followers. Sometimes, unfortunately, that was easier said than done. Now that I have my own kids, I try to make sure the 3 of them never allow someone to influence them to do stupid things to validate who they are. It has been pretty tough with my oldest but we're still working on him. I definitely know that it takes positive influences in a persons life to help keep them on the straight and narrow. I always felt like you were one of the very few people that never allowed someone to influence any of your decisions just so you felt validated. I truly respect that. -kilsha