Make Room For The Stuttering

Need To Be Validated

Posted on: May 21, 2010

I am always surprised when I hear myself express the need to be validated because I still don’t do it directly. I don’t come right out and ask someone, “Hey, can you validate me?’ I will dance around whatever it is that I need, until I hear either directly or indirectly that I am a good person or am loved.

We all need to hear that, right? This may be one of the most basic of human needs, yet for me, one of the hardest. I always believed I wasn’t good enough, or didn’t measure up, or didn’t even count enough to deserve good things said or felt about me.

A lot went into that: the ingrained belief I had that I was no good, that I didn’t matter and that my feelings weren’t valid. And of course, the fact that I stuttered. Putting that all together left me feeling I had no choice but to close myself off from the world.

Now I have opened myself to the world and allowed feelings to be felt. I let things seep in that I had always pushed away. I am beginning to see how good it feels when people affirm me, tell me I am good, and that I matter. Sometimes I still feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, maybe like I don’t deserve it, and other times it makes me feel warm and glowing inside.

I have almost reached a point when I can tell when I need that. And I will dance around the issue with a good friend or loved one, until they tell me something that makes me feel good.

I wish I could be direct enough to just let someone know, “hey, I need someone to tell me I have done a good job. Will you do that for me?”  I guess I also wish that I really didn’t need to hear that at all – that I just know it, that it comes from within.

But we are human. And need to hear others affirm us. We need to be validated. It feels good.

6 Responses to "Need To Be Validated"

Hey! Yeah, I feel that way sometimes also that I need someone else to tell me that I did a good job and they are proud of me but I am realzing that you YOURSELF are the only one that can do that. You can’t rely on others to like you said validate you as a person. Sometimes I do feel like sorry for myself and get very fustrated that almost everyone else around me can speak without having to worry about what words that you aren’t going to stutter on. You can’t feel sorry, you have to find it wthin yourself to not look on others to make you feel a certain way.

I can’t tell if people praise me out of pity or out of genuine sincerity. For me, being quiet has its downfalls: lack of validation (as you said) and lack of acknowledgement. I don’t need any of those in order to progress but a little recognition of my hard work is beneficial.

Though on the other hand, praise kills me. I’d rather be the silent person in the background receiving simple nods than the person in front of a roaring audience.

Thanks for your comments. Do you stutter?
Everyone needs to be recognized and acknowledged, even if we prefer to be backstage. I’m like you in the compliments department – I need it, but feel very uncomfortable if it seems too much or embarrasses me. I guess its all about balance.
I hope you check back in.

Yes I do, but it is a minor case that is manageable most of the time.

Hi Pam. I think we all have to remember to give specific praise to people, especially kids. My husband went to a workshop once and the speaker asked the audience, “Who here has been praised too much?” Of course, it should be specific, not global praise (like “you’re great”), so that it is meaningful.

As you know, that’s why I love the Ginott idea of telling kids/adults that “you should be proud of yourself!”, instead of “I’m proud of you”. We who grew up with people telling us that they were proud of us need to hear it more often, and don’t develop the confidence internally. We have to all learn to be proud of ourselves!

We all need validation sometimes, both from outside and from inside.

Simply telling a kid he should be proud of himself isn’t enough. We need to teach them how to be proud of themselves, and that it’s okay to be proud of yourself, as long as it doesn’t get out of hand.

There are different types of pride, some good, some bad. Most are bad if you have too much. Pride in doing something well, pride in looking your best, pride in trying, pride in being your true self, pride in knowing when to stand out or when to stay quiet.

Recognizing when you need validation is a big step. It’s okay to ask for it, as long as you realize the other person might not give you the type you need. Some people in my life are good at some types of validation but terrible at others.

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