Validation. We all want to feel recognized and be valued as essential and worthy. Actually, we need it. Validation reinforces the connections that link us to our friends, our family, our community. When we validate others, we are saying that we want to join their world and see things from their point of view. It is a way of saying that we understand . . . that we see them as they are and we accept them.
What validates you? Who validates you? What words or gesture rings your internal bell of validation?
Merriam-Webster defines validation as “to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of.” Without at least some validation in our lives, we often find ourselves feeling isolated or alone or misunderstood. The world feels like a place where others are happy and wildly successful and living lives of fulfillment . . . while we’re not. Validation extends a hand of kindness to another. It says, “I like you the way you are in this very moment.” It says, “I don’t have to know everything about you to know that you are essential.” Validation is a lifeline that saves another from feelings of lonesomeness and disconnect with the world.
Sometimes all it takes to feel validated is to feel the touch of someone’s hand on our shoulder. Sometimes it is as simple as hearing, “I like your taste in earrings. The ones you have on are so awesome!” or “I really like the way that your hair curls.” or “Has anyone ever told you that you have a beautiful smile?” Sometimes it takes so little.
Pleasepleaseplease watch this video below. It runs (16:23) and it is so worth watching. It is the sweetest reminder that we can make a difference in other people’s lives simply by stepping outside our own selves and recognizing the little things about them. And there is definitely a ripple effect that accompanies the validation of another.
Validation. I ask myself, “What am I doing to validate other people?” What can I say the next time I recognize that someone needs to be validated?
Fill in the blank below when you meet someone whom you can validate. Anyone. A loved one or a stranger. Your dog or your cat. The grocery clerk, your chiropractor, your linguistics professor, your Uncle Johnny. Your doctor, your nurse, your patient. Your teacher, your student, your department chair. Your mentor, your sister, your brother, your daughter. What matters is that you are making a difference. Just do it. What’s stopping you?
Fill in the blank for someone else today. Elevate someone’s day. Make a difference in how someone else feels appreciated and validated. It will make their day. And probably yours, too, when you see their smile and feel the validation connection. I guarantee that your validation will circulate to parts of the world that you have never visited.
You are great. You are amazing. You __________________.
Author bio: Kennedy Farr’s passion for writing caught light at the age of four when she first learned how to spell her name on a sheet of lined tablet paper. Kennedy is a daily writer and blogger, a lifelong learner, and a true believer that something wonderful is happening right now in this very moment. Kennedy lives high atop an emerald-green mountain on a Pacific Northwest island. She feels blessed by the natural beauty, the serenity, and the bird life that grace each day.