By Dr. Perry, PhD
“You need to love yourself and be yourself one hundred percent before you can actually love someone else.” ~Christina Perri
1. Accept your susceptibility
We are most likely going to be caught in the validation trap when thinking we are not vulnerable to it. Each of us are susceptible to needing external validation. If you are reading this and thinking, “No way not me,” all I can say is, yeah right. We all like to be recognized. We all like to feel significant.
2. Understand where the craving comes from
If you had parents who nurtured you unconditionally and you developed an uncommon sense of security, I envy you. Most of us were not dealt such circumstances. Most of us had parents who did the best they could even though their best wasn’t very good. If we did not receive the validation we needed as children, how can we expect not to want to be seen, heard, cared for or reassured by someone else?
3. Take breaks from social media
Make plans with friends, family or a significant other to do activities that do not involve social media. Set time limits so you do not end up spending your entire afternoon working on a blog post, liking photos on Instagram or browsing through Facebook. Make an agreement with the person or people you are with that cell phones are off limits for a certain length of time. Imagine how nice it would be if we could momentarily settle our minds from the constant urge to check our social media status.
4. Accept yourself first and always
You do not need to achieve anything to be worthy of love. Seriously. Say it out loud and see how it feels, “I do not need to achieve anything to be worthy of love.” Say it out loud again. If you skipped doing this and are just continuing to read, that says something. So again, let’s try it. “I do not need to achieve anything to be worthy of love.” How did that feel? All of us can benefit from repeating a mantra like this to ourselves. If it is difficult then maybe there is some work for you to do in this area.
5. Catch yourself when validating others
Maybe your need to feel validated goes unnoticed because you mask it by constantly validating others. Why? Because you know if you validate someone else there is a greater likelihood they will validate you in return. If you are one to always spread joy and positivity to others, keep it up! But, at least ask yourself if somewhere underneath that is an unconscious need to be validated in return.
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