Chasing People for Validation

Written by
Michael Wells

Chasing People for Validation

And Why it Doesn't Work

Written by
Michael Wells

Chasing People for Validation

And Why it Doesn't Work

Written by
Michael Wells
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QUESTION
"I'm constantly 'chasing' people from the opposite sex because I feel validated by their attention and potential interest.
"How do I stop basing my self-worth on whether or not someone is attracted to me?"

You are headed down one of the most beautiful paths I have ever found.

You get to choose what you base your self-worth on, and basing it on the validation of others is not much fun.

It took me a long time to realize that.

My life became a lot more meaningful & fun when I devoted my energy to becoming the best person I can be, instead of the person that other people want me to be.

When I shifted my thinking, everything began to change...

I knew much more clearly what I wanted, and that increased my sense of certainty about the choices I made.

I was far less needy about people- because they didn't define my value anymore.

My self-confidence increased, and I just... liked myself more.

In every way, my life just became better.

What Seeking Validation Feels Like

We're mammals, which means that we're wired to value the opinions of others. At a deep emotional level, and from the time we're born, we care what others think, and we crave their approval.

But as humans, there's a toxic downside to that. If you allow the opinions of others to overshadow your opinion of yourself, you're a slave to approval.

You can never fully achieve self-confidence, self-respect, and self-esteem if you're basing your self-worth on how others see you... because everyone a different idea of how you should be living your life.

For me, seeking validation from others looked like this-

  • I always needed to look good in public.
  • I stressed constantly about things like my weight, hairstyle, acne, and fashion sense. Especially in high school.
  • Rejection was one of the scariest things imaginable.
  • I never felt happy. I felt briefly validated when I felt noticed and “liked,” but the feeling faded quickly and then I felt “forgotten.”
  • I craved the attention of people who I saw as “the beautiful people.”
  • I avoided people who I saw as unattractive. I was very judgmental in how I used my “attractiveness” measure-of-value, towards others and myself.
  • I couldn’t confront people, or easily change uncomfortable situations.

Many of you recognize this as "Nice Guy" Syndrome, something many people struggle with and something with give special attention to at BROJO.

How to Change This

My way out involved a few changes in my thinking and daily routine, Here are a few principles that helped me get there. I hope these help you too.

#1 - Focus on the Goal, not the Problem

Instead of asking “how do I be less needy?”, look at what you are wanting to achieve and focus on creating the person, the identity that you respect.

Your compass is this question -

“What would my life be like, if I didn’t need anyone’s approval to feel happy?”

Write down your answers, review them each morning, and edit it whenever you discover something new.

#2 - You Are What You DO

Begin focusing your attention on things you love to do… things that are based in creativity, intelligence, curiosity, learning, movement- whatever you value most.

Pick some interests you have, and start asking yourself-

“What can I do now, to get better at this?”

These need to be things that you are doing entirely for yourself, your own happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment.

It simply doesn't matter here what other people think, or whether they even "get it."

You’ll notice that when you are living by your own values, that you begin validating yourself. The opinions of others matter a lot less, and you begin to absolutely love who you are.

The key is in doing, not being - because doing is a decision that you make, where you get to add value to your life & your world.

The being part of that will come from change and growth, as you become someone better and more authentic to who you want to be.

#3 - Re-Define Who You See as Valuable People

From principle #2, you’ll start to notice other people who share your interests.

If you like art for example, you’ll suddenly notice people who also do art. The same for writing, dance, music, martial arts, sports, gardening, reading, philosophy, math, sciences…

You’ll start valuing people more by what they do and what they create, how they think and what they value- than how they look.

Also… start spending some time with people that you find physically unattractive. Make a few friends. Yes, this sounds weird & uncomfortable, but it’s important. Right now your mind sees attractiveness as an important measurement of value... Hollywood & a million magazine covers have programmed you well.

Try it, and what you’ll realize soon is that the value of a person goes so much deeper.

…and your own value does too.

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First published on 
November 8, 2017
. Last updated on 
May 14, 2021

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