I’m always searching for one.
I’m searching for one when I’m trying that new dress, and I’m searching for one when I tell my friends of my new favourite book.
I’m searching for one when I tell my boyfriend what I think of the movie we just watched. I’m searching for one when I try to defend my drink preference. I’m searching for one when I post a brand new writing.
I’m always searching for it. Validation.
I want to know if my taste is normal – if my preference adheres with those whose opinions I trust. I want to know if what’s been circulating in my head is accepted by the public. I want to be likeable. And I can easily change my judgment when it turns out to be different.
Where does this urge of validation come from? I’m not sure. Perhaps it feels good to be right. Perhaps it’s good to feel belong. Perhaps it’s good to be deemed worthy. Perhaps it feels better to know that you’re one step ahead of your game.
But I want to be able to say the book series that I love out loud – and I don’t want to be judged because of it. I want to say what I think and not second-guess myself because my sister doesn’t really find the new dress as pretty as I do. I want to have my own opinion, and not to have a biased opinion because of others. And I clearly don’t want to apologise for my own gut feeling.
Yet I’m always searching for validation. If my opinion differs, I find it hard to stay to be different. I’ll nod down and smile and just be agreeable. Perhaps I’ll tone down my own taste in front of them. Instead of feeling ecstatic about a movie, I will say the movie is okay to someone who really hates it. It’s a little bit of white lie, and it doesn’t really hurt, but sometimes I just want to not search for validation all the time.
I want to believe in my own opinions. Because it’s mine.
Most times, I think it’s hard.
Especially in front of the people you respect.
Especially in front of the people you adore.
Especially in front of the people you’re trying to impress.
I’ve always been trying to search for validation in everything I do.
So perhaps it’s time to be less agreeable, and to say ‘sorry, I’m not sorry’ instead.
Photo by Vincent