The Difference Between Wanting Validation and Needing It

by | Jan 8, 2024 | Feelings, Needs, Personal Growth

This week I found myself in a conversation with someone who was wrestling with her needs for validation and approval, and this reminded me about the importance of dropping our attachment to the outcomes of our offerings.

I love the part of our human nature that wants to make others happy. 

Most of us have deep intrinsic needs contribute to one another’s well-being and joy: it feels nourishing to both the giver and the receiver, and brings about a deep sense of meaning and purpose to our lives.

However, there’s a fine line between offering things to one another because it brings us joy to do so, and offering things to one another because we are craving their positive judgments or their stamp of approval on who we are.

There’s a difference between giving out of love, and giving in order to get something back.

  • The first is relational, the second is transactional.  
  • The first is about expressing love, the second is about using others to meet our needs.
  • The first is about giving from generosity and abundance, the second is about using people as objects to meet our dependency and ego needs.  

Validation is not a “bad” thing, especially when we mean that soul-nourishing rush of energy that we get when we are contributing to our collective well-being.  

However, if you find yourself feeling dependent on other people’s approval, or enslaved in some way to other people’s values, beliefs and thoughts, that may be a sign that you could benefit from more self-acceptance, more self-trust, more self-love … and, if you’d like help cultivating any of that, join my online learning community or schedule an appointment to dive into it!   

Curious about the question that sparked these reflections? 

Listen to the full podcast here, or jump to any specific section using these show notes:

Show notes:
(0:51) How can I enjoy my work and let go of the fact that not everyone needs to love it?
(11:29) How can I honor my need to be seen and heard even when the feedback I receive is not what I expected?
(18:20) How do I ask my therapist for a roadmap after being blown off and dealing with the fear of asking again?
(41:31) How do I deal with my friend who feels disrespected when I change my mind about our plans?
(51:08) Outro

What type of role has the need for validation played in your life?  I’d love to know!  Leave a comment below.

1 Comment

  1. Suzann Long

    I thought I was ok with the validation issue having focused on self-love mostly.Reading this and the questions within it gently but firmly alerted me to the fact that my current capacity for self trust and the consequent not much capacity to trust others is living in me right now. Thank you to the person who asked the question and thank you Yvette presenting this in this context.


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