People who constantly seek validation typically have these 8 insecurities

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As a child it’s natural to seek validation from our parents, peers and authority figures.

“Am I doing it right?” is a typical question a kid will ask. 

But as we mature, many of us who didn’t receive enough validation or were hit by traumatic events and lack of support will still seek validation from those around us. 

This can do a lot of harm, because it centers our well-being outside of ourselves and leaves us in a constant state of doubt and feeling not good enough. 

There’s no shame in seeking validation, but it is something any of us can become self-aware about and begin cutting out of our lives more and more. 

So why do people do it, anyway? 

The reason some folks seek validation and approval is usually deep insecurity. 

So what are they so insecure about? 

Let’s take a look… 

1) They’re afraid of being alone

The first big trigger for seeking validation is a fear of being alone. 

The insecure individual often has abandonment issues stemming from childhood and a deep almost primal fear of being left behind, stranded or forgotten about. 

Seeking validation in various forms is their preemptive attempt to avoid being left behind and to make sure people remember they’re around. 

Whether they seek validation by always checking if somebody has heard them, or by highlighting their accomplishments or wearing expensive clothing, it adds up to the same basic message: 

“Please tell me I matter. Don’t leave me behind.”

2) They’re afraid of being wrong

The next reason that insecure people seek validation is that they’re afraid of being wrong and making mistakes. 

This usually means they had overly strict parents or guardians who instilled a sense of perfectionism in them. It is also common in very materialistic and rigid societies where the educational system stresses obedience and being “good.”

The insecure individual has taken these messages very much to heart, and seeks to always check whether they’re on the right track. 

Are they dating somebody others approve of? Are they in a good career? Should they change where they’re going for vacation? Does their haircut look silly?

They want to know your opinion. And the opinion of the next random person they run across. They’re outsourcing all their self-esteem and are in a tailspin that can’t end well. 

The basic insecurity:

“Am I doing this right?”

3) They don’t want to seem incompetent

Being wrong is one worry, and closely attached to it is a real fear of being incompetent

This is also known as imposter syndrome and is a very serious issue that tends to affect insecure folks. 

They seek out validation because they are worried that they’re just not good enough

This is the high school track runner setting records but still asking his coach if he really thinks he has what it takes to win the championship…

This is the groom getting cold feet a week before his wedding because his parents divorced and he feels like maybe he’s doomed to repeat that cycle despite his emotional intelligence and communication skills…

The root insecurity:

“Am I sufficiently skilled? Do I have the talent to be wanted?”

4) They’re scared of being invisible

This relates to my previous point about insecure people seeking not to be forgotten or unwanted. 

They are also very scared of being invisible, and may feel invisible. 

If you’ve felt this way sometimes like I have then you know how painful and alienating it can be. On a crowded train platform or in the middle of a busy shopping mall you feel totally alone and unseen. 

The spell can be broken easily by a stranger coming up and asking if you’re OK and other small things, but the root feeling is something insecure people struggle with a lot. 

The basic insecurity:

“Am I seen? Do I matter? Please tell me I matter.” 

5) They’re terrified of being disliked

The next big insecurity that exists in those who ask for validation is a deep fear of being disliked or disapproved of. 

From a young age they have absorbed a lesson that being approved of and liked is crucial, often because they didn’t get enough love. 

Know this individual is going around seeking this in friends, strangers, business partners, romantic partners, money and anything else possible. 

They hope that by doing, saying or being whatever thing they will get a larger amount of people to truly like them. And they want validation of being well liked on a regular basis, always having a strong inner doubt that they’re truly wanted and liked. 

The root insecurity:

“Do you like me? Am I good enough for you?”

6) They’re worried about being the odd one out

Another big insecurity of people who seek validation is a worry that they are going to be the odd one out or get into something that isn’t cool or well liked. 

For this reason, insecure people (which is a lot of people) tend to be quite enthusiastic trend followers. 

“Oh you don’t have the newest iPhone? Well, I mean…”

They are the ones perpetuating these kinds of comments because having the newest iPhone really does matter to them on a status, validation level. It’s a way to feel complete and like they are part of a social trend and wave. 

The task of never feeling like the odd one out can certainly become frustrating and toxic, however, especially when it gets to comparing relationships and jealousy over material possessions or wealth. 

The root insecurity:

“Am I as good as those other people? Am I cool?”

7) They fret that they may look silly, ‘weird’ or weak

Worrying about looking strange or embarrassing themselves is a big issue for those who are insecure. 

When somebody has low self-confidence they have often been bullied or marginalized in various ways. It’s as if unkind and frustrated people can sense the insecurity and pounce on it. 

This then further reinforces the insecurities of the person seeking validation, making them feel something is “wrong” or “weird” about them. 

As a result, they will often seek validation through following popular trends, seeking to be what they imagine is “normal” or most rewarded by other peers and their social milieu. 

The insecure person adapts and changes their views, styles and everything about their life focus accordingly – a willow in the wind blowing in whichever direction seems to have the most pleasant breeze. 

The root insecurity:

“Am I normal? Are my views and customs popular and cool?”

8) They fear rejection and being told they aren’t wanted

At the core of the insecure individual is a deep fear of rejection. 

This often stretches back to early childhood, as I’ve noted, and is an instinctive and all-consuming fear of being told they’re not wanted or needed. 

The search for validation is a cry to the world to be wanted, needed and in demand. On the business level, on the personal level, even on the style or personal taste level, it’s a way of saying:

“What I do, what I like, who I am is useful and cool, right?”

But the issue is that no matter how many times they’re validated, the insecure person tends to only focus on the one or two times they’re not validated as proof that they’re not good enough or unwanted.

Putting down secure roots 

Putting down secure roots starts with the individual and his or her actions.

We can’t help what we think, what we feel or even many of the circumstances around us that are out of our control.

But we can control how we react to it and what we do about it. We can control our attitude in response to what we feel and experience. 

This is the crux of the matter:

To choose daily, empowering habits that begin lifting us out of insecurity and start reducing the craving for validation. 

Insecurity begins to fade as we start to rise and strengthen ourselves and interact in more meaningful and impactful ways with the world around us. It really is that simple. 

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