In a time where there are no limits to what people will post online about their private life in order to try to be unique, impressive, fascinating, attractive, gain validation and whatnot, the most simple way to actually be unique is to avoid the trap of oversharing.
The less we share about the details of our private life for public display, the more we actually show other people - and ourselves most importantly - that we are grounded in who we are.
No, we need not others' approval to be okay.
Our worth is not dependent on whether other people tell us we are worthy. People take the cue on how to treat us from us. We are responsible for showing other people how we want to be treated. When we compromise, other people tend to see us lowering our standards as a reflection of our diminishing value. We did this - other people only take the cue from us.
The problem with the constant showing off is that it is never enough.
We never feel satisfied. We keep chasing. We want more. Or we want something else. Or someone else. The grass is always greener on the other side. We never feel at ease with who we are, but try to find the acceptance in the eyes of others.
This ongoing chasing behavior makes us very fragile and breakable.
We cannot form lasting bonds when we are busy chasing, we become islands, isolated and disconnected. Other people can't give us the validation, we so desperately search for. Regardless of how hard they try to meet our needs as best as they can - perhaps by convincing us that we are indeed good enough, pretty enough, smart enough etc. It is like junk food. The first bite - the first words linger sweet and draw us in. We love to hear it - we lick it straight off by the spoonful. We want more - it tastes so good in the moment. We feel so good. We feel likable. We feel at ease - finally.
The feel-good factor is short lived.
We become addict-like in our behavior. Always looking for the next fix - in this case the fix being in the form of validation. Every time someone feeds our ego, we feel validated in that moment - but if it stops, if that person changes their mind or disappears, our worth trembles and we must look for another person to feed our ever-longing quest to feel okay in this skin we are in. It is a very stressful place to be. After the high, follows the low - because outside validation leaves us hollow on the inside. And we know this, why everything and everyone becomes replaceable in our search to fill that void that seems insatiable.
How do we stop chasing validation?
Well, a lot of it has to do with trying to eliminate as many of the ongoing stimuli, that we are exposed to nowadays.
Everything that spikes dopamine tends to turn us into these small scatter-brained addict-like beings, always chasing the next rush.
Especially since the introduction of smartphones have we seen issues with short-term attention spans. This is concerning because it causes us to crave new stimuli constantly - translating over into other areas of our life, that are far more vital for our ability to be in the moment and connect without distracting ourselves constantly. Our smartphone trains us into craving instant gratification with zero patience or pain tolerance skills. A simple way to break this pattern is that we manage our phone addiction, rather than allowing it to manage our day. We put it on silent and check our messages at set times during the day. Simple. We find other ways of dealing with boredom and anxiety than holding onto our phone as if our dear life depends on it. The main issue with using a device to distract from uncomfortable feelings, is that the feelings just bottle up. We are not being present and allow the feelings to communicate our needs to us, but we choose to ignore and suppress.
This in turn, heightens our issues with not being able to trust ourselves.
When we do not listen to what our body is telling us, our mind goes on its own little escapades. End result being a heightened level of anxiety or agressive reactive tendencies, depending on our core temperament type. Our behavior suffers from this as we now tend to react irrational and reactive to any type of clashing - we don't have the space to step back and look at things and evaluate what is going on, rather we react in the moment like a complete nutjob.
In other areas, if we want to stop chasing validation, it means that we also need to identify all the ways that we engage with other people, only to use them for validation.
We start spending time with other people, because we like them - and not cos we are trying to get them to like us, and thus feel validated.
It means caring less of what others think of us, and caring more about what we think of others, ourselves, our choices, our values, our wants... only then can we satisfy our core needs and move beyond chasing.