How can I stop seeking validation? (+Why people do it)

This article will discuss what are the best ways for you to stop seeking validation. It will show what it means to seek validation, and why people do it.

How can I stop seeking validation? 

If you feel you are constantly seeking people’s validation, here is what you can do to move past that pattern.

Look back in your life 

If you feel you are constantly looking for validation, you must take a closer look at your previous life experiences, especially your childhood. Know that having gone through invalidating experiences in that period of your life may have impacted you do not understand that you are good enough.

It can be that you felt like people didn’t see you, or nourished you enough, and this reflects on how you see yourself now. You may have trouble validating yourself, and understanding and recognizing your strengths on your own. Being only possible to do so if other people say it. 

Sometimes it may be difficult to deal with all of that on your own. So if it all seems like too much to you, know you can always look for a mental health professional that will likely help you through this.

Know that self-care can be an important tool for self-validation 

You should also learn that it is possible to validate yourself through caring more for yourself. When you do that, you are telling yourself that you are worth this time, and energy. A good way to do that may be through practicing meditation, or mindfulness exercises.

This can help your decision-making process, and give you a better sense of control, which will make it easier for you to recognize your boundaries. With all of that more in place, you may begin to become more aware of your own needs, and desires, and look for ways to fulfill them.

Know it is okay to say no 

When you seek validation from others, you will likely find it hard to say no to other people. You may be in constant fear that, if you say no, people will leave you, or stop giving you the proper validation.

To learn that it is okay to say no, you may want to start practicing it in small ways. Saying no to less serious things at first may help you realize that it is not the end of the world and that it is okay to stand up for yourself.

Have a positive support network 

It is different to look for people’s validation than to have people that will support you. So try to have people around you that don’t want to establish a relationship of validation, but rather that will show you they are by your side to deal with things.

If you feel the people close to you aren’t supportive, know that there are many groups and communities that you can join to try to have a more positive relationship.

Distance yourself from people that only invalidate you

Seeking validation from others will usually come from the lack of validation in our childhood. And it is possible that ever since then, you have surrounded yourself mostly with people that treat you in the same way. 

If that is the case, knowing your worth, and moving past these people that are constantly invalidating you can be a step forward. It is a way of recognizing that even though you can validate yourself, you should only be with people that are caring and supportive of you.

What does it mean to seek validation?

Seeking validation can mean that you are in constant need of others telling you how valuable you are. And surely a little external validation is important. But most of all there should be a balance between that, and your internal validation. 

When you are too focused on seeking validation, you may often have trouble setting boundaries with others and will always try to do your best, or even be perfect to get other people’s praise.

In a relationship, this can mean that you will go from one relationship to the next because it is hard for you to be alone. This can be so intense that you won’t know how to make any life decisions on your own.

A person that seeks validation will often say yes to everything, and will likely be unable to disagree with others or be in a situation that leads to conflict. Aside from that, you may compare yourself to others, and always feel like you are lacking, and that you are not enough.

This can go to a point where you can create situations to be chosen or supported by others, even if in those you are seeing as the victim.

Why do people seek validation? 

People can seek validation for various reasons. As said before it can be related to their childhood experiences, in which they likely didn’t receive too much attention or had too much of it, and now they believe everyone should behave the same way.

When a child doesn’t receive enough emotional validation from their mothers, it can lead to a problem in creating their emotional awareness, making it harder for the person to regulate their emotions in the future. 

This will not only lead you to constantly seek validation, but also have trouble trusting people, fear rejection, develop higher levels of anxiety, or even have confusing behaviors.

The need to seek validation from others can also be a sign of some mental health can often be related to narcissistic personality disorder, in which the person has such a huge sense of entitlement that they feel like everyone should be constantly validating them.

It can also be a sign of borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, or dependent personality disorder. So if you believe your need for validation is related to a mental illness, it may be important to look for professional help to understand it better.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How can I stop seeking validation? 

What is a good exercise to practice self-validation?

If you wish to start to practice validating yourself more, a good way to start is maybe getting out of social media for a while. That is usually a place in which people will often compare themselves to others, and that constant process of feeling like you are not living up to what other people want from you can be stressful.

As you remove yourself from that environment, you may want to start looking at yourself differently. You may want to write down how you have been feeling, what things you are proud of, and what things you need to work on. 

Highlighting your accomplishments will allow you to see the whole picture of the situation you are in, and not look at yourself in an overly critical manner.

As you are more self-aware, you may often need others less to tell you you have done something great. Instead, you may be able to recognize it yourself. 

And if it ever happens that someone gives you praise or a compliment, you can take that gladly, but without having to ask the person for more validation so you feel good about yourself.

What are signs someone is a narcissist?

Narcissists are often people that can be unable to feel empathy, and that usually will have a grandiose sense of self. Because of that, they can feel like they can get away with manipulating others, and should always be treated differently.

They also need attention, and validation from others, which is why they will constantly need people around them. For that, they can be extremely seductive, and work towards bringing you close to them, so you will never be able to leave.

They don’t see people for their personality, but rather for what the other person can offer them. So they will likely keep you around until they have taken all they needed from you, and it is at that point that they may discard you.

What causes people to become narcissists?

Although it is something that is still under study, it seems that narcissism can be related to multiple factors. One of them seems to be the person’s upbringing. Children that have been neglected, or that have been too pampered can often become a narcissist.

It can also be related to a neurobiological matter, meaning that the way the person’s brain work, combined with their behavior, can lead them to express narcissistic traits.

What is the difference between affirmation, and validation?

When you are giving someone affirmation it means that you are saying to the other person something you know to be a fact. You can send your partner a nice message, for example, letting them know why you love them. In this case, you are affirming something, and being assertive about what you are saying. 

But when you are giving the other person validation, it doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with them or even consider what they did or say to be a fact, but rather that you recognize that what they feel, say, or did is important. 

It is different than affirming, and it looks more like showing the other that you understand them and that you consider what they are saying to be legitimate.

What is invalidation?

Invalidation means that you have been dealing with someone that is invalidating you. In doing so, they are denying, or rejecting the value of what you are saying, feeling, or doing. It is a way to disregard what the other person feels and to lose perspective from the fact that we all experience things differently.

Some people may invalidate others without ever even noticing, while others may do so in a way to manipulate, control, or make the other person feel bad. Invalidating someone can usually mean you have a low capacity for empathy and compassion.

Some common phrases can be often said by people that invalidate you. For example, they can tell you, when you want to bring a topic to discussion, that they will not have that conversation.

They can also ask you to just move past something that you are showing concern about, and that you should follow their lead, or do as they say. Aside from that, they can often tell you that you shouldn’t feel things in a determined manner.


This article showed how you can stop seeking validation. It also explained what it means to be someone that is constantly looking for validation, and why you may do that.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


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