Seeking External Validation
Imagine going to a store known for car parts and accessories to buy something entirely unrelated, like apples. It sounds like an unusual choice, right? Just as this scenario doesn't make sense, many people look for love and validation in the wrong places. In this blog post, we'll explore the psychology behind seeking external validation and how these repeating patterns can be disrupted, ultimately leading to healthier relationships and self-love.
Seeking external validation is a common human behaviour. We often look to others for affirmation, love, and approval. This external validation can come from romantic relationships, friendships, or even the online world of likes and comments. It can be gratifying to receive validation from others, but it becomes problematic when it's the sole source of our self-worth.
Psychological models like Attachment Theory can help us understand this behaviour. It suggests that our early attachment experiences with caregivers can shape our patterns of seeking love and validation as adults. For instance, if we had inconsistent or insecure attachments in childhood, we might grow up seeking love from partners who can't fully provide it, perpetuating a cycle of seeking external validation.
Repeating patterns in relationships are a common outcome of seeking love in the wrong places. We may find ourselves attracted to partners who are emotionally unavailable, critical, or even abusive. These patterns often mirror our unresolved issues and attachment styles from childhood.
Breaking these patterns requires self-awareness, personal growth, and therapeutic support. Here's how to disrupt the cycle:
Self-Reflection: Take time to understand your relationship patterns and consider their origins in your past. Reflect on your early attachment experiences and how they may be affecting your choices.
Self-Love: Cultivate self-love and self-worth independent of external validation. Recognise your inherent value as an individual, irrespective of others' opinions.
Therapeutic Support: Seek therapy or counselling to explore and heal your attachment wounds. Therapists can help you address the root causes of your patterns and develop healthier relationships.
Mindful Choices: Make mindful choices in your relationships. Choose partners who are emotionally available and supportive. Avoid falling into old patterns by actively seeking healthier dynamics.
Much like going to Halfords for apples, seeking love and validation from the wrong sources can lead to confusion, frustration, and unfulfilling relationships. Recognising and addressing these patterns is a vital step in fostering self-love, breaking free from negative attachment styles, and creating healthier, more rewarding relationships. By utilising psychological models and self-awareness, you can learn to seek love where it truly belongs—within yourself.