On Validation

We all need validation.

This is a big misconception that gets passed through the self help industry, and consequently the pick up industry as well: that you should never seek validation and that you should only be validated by yourself or your own actions.

It’s a nice thought. But not very realistic. As humans we’re wired to always seek validation from somewhere, and we need a steady stream of some sort of validation to remain emotionally healthy. It’s just a question of where and how we get it.

A subtle yet important difference I always try to make is that validation itself isn’t the enemy. Validation in and of itself doesn’t make you unattractive. It’s basing your behaviors on validation that makes you unattractive.

The best way I can think of to explain it is that validation is like money. Everybody needs money to live. Everybody likes money and everybody wants as much money as possible.

But people who base all of their actions and ambitions on money and nothing else typically end up unhappy, selfish, and insecure.

Money’s not the problem. Being controlled by money is the problem.

In the same way, receiving validation from having sex with women is not the problem. There’s nothing wrong with that. But basing your life and behavior around the validation of having sex with women… well, that will lead you to a dark and lonely place.

Here’s another good analogy. Take sports. Athletes receive massive amounts of external validation in terms of fame, fortune, sponsorships, commercials, etc. There’s nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong is when an athlete is ONLY in it for the fame, fortune, sponsorships, etc. These athletes often end up miserable and bankrupt soon after retirement, and I’d say it’s not a coincidence. It’s typically the athletes who love the game, who have an undeniable passion for it, who would be playing it whether they were paid or not who end up the most successful and satisfied.

The same is true with women. Guys who are in it for the validation — to affirm to themselves that they’re important, that they matter, that somebody cares about them — these guys usually end up just as lonely and unhappy as they did before they started, even after they’d been with dozens of women. But guys who pursue women out of a genuine curiosity, interest and joy for them not only experience the most success, but also enjoy the most validation.

And guys, we ALL have a passion for women. It’s hardwired into us. It’s a matter of opening yourself up to it.

Validation and money are similar in another way as well. And that is, when you don’t have any all you can think about is getting some. It’s easy to talk about loving your job and doing it because you’re passionate about it and you care. But suddenly if yourself broke and on the street, then whoring yourself out to some desk job you hate doesn’t sound like such a bad option.

Likewise, if you’re emotionally destitute, then any sort of validation will do and you’ll pursue it vigorously wherever you can get it. And once you begin to receive validation with some regularity, you’ll slowly become less and less dependent on it.

And see, this is where being internally validated comes in. If you’re emotionally destitute, and you desperately need some validation, you can go out and look for it in external places — women, money, possessions, etc. Or you can look for it internally. Both feel nice. But one lasts and the other doesn’t. External validation is like buying a new car. You feel like the man for a week or so, but then it’s back to square one. Internal validation is like investing your money. It grows and expands. It collects interest. You end up with more than you started with. And then you can go buy a new car whenever you feel like it.

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Related posts:

  1. Balance and Perspective
  2. The Post-PUA Life
  3. The Emotional-Sexual Cycle
  4. The Toxic 10-Scale
  5. Sexual Maturity

19 comments to On Validation

  • Gully

    I wonder how much validation effects our desire for wanting the hottest girls. How much of it is ‘biological’ and how much of it is to do with validation and status and how society percieves us.

    Do we want a hot girlfriend to be percieved as high status, as ‘alpha’, successful, sexy, rich or whatever?

    Or do we want a hot girlfriend because we just want a hot girlfriend?

    I suspect that its a combination. But I bet in a different world I would be more willing to accept those 6-7′s as girlfriends as opposed to holding out for 8-9′s.

    • Mark

      This is a good point.

      I’ve personally ditched a hotter girl for a less hotter girl because the less hotter one was more enjoyable to be around. But there’s definitely a limit to that.

      I think what’s inevitable is the “Halo Effect,” which makes overlooking a super hot girl’s faults easy sometimes. I think past the first night or two, validation figures very little into it. After all, 90% of the time you spend with a girl you’re dating is one on one.

      • Dizzy

        “I think past the first night or two, validation figures very little into it. After all, 90% of the time you spend with a girl you’re dating is one on one.”

        *That* all depends on the vanity of the individual (lol). I know a few guys and one friend in particular who sticks with a girl that has issues just because she is attractive.

        Even though you spend the majority of your time one-on-one, there’s still that element of “she’s mine” validation that persists even when you’re not in public. You don’t have to be constantly touting your chick in front of friends and family for you to get the validation of knowing that they know you’ve got her. You just need to remind them every once and a while, lol :P (shallow Dizzy).

    • The converse is also true. We might want to get with a less attractive girl because we like her enough, but then we might reject her because of what our buddies might think of her. Chemistry with women who aren’t that great looking happens all the time.

      • Gully

        For me, often it comes down to the ‘Halo effect’. At the moment I’d rather close a girl that was hot but I didn’t get on that well as opposed to the other way round.

        Im willing to overlook the fact that there isn’t much chemistry because of how attractive she is..

  • Chris

    Man, I’ve stopped taking anyone’s perception of female hotness seriously except my own. Some guys have ridiculously high standards and insult/overly judge any girl who doesn’t meet them.
    Others fuck goats.

    • Mark

      Hah… so true. Often they’re the same people too. I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve met who on a message board are like, “Oh, that girl’s like a 5, her nose is crooked.”

      Then you go out with them and they’re jumping on anything that half-smiles at them.

      Which kind of reinforces the point of the article.

      • Matt T

        I think this was the catalyst of Roosh’s Revised Rating Scale, which basically rates girls was Warthog/Bangable/Cute/Hot/Super Hot. The problem is that some guys would see any skinny girl and rate her a “9″, while others would look at Megan Fox or whatever and say “7/10 at best”.

        • Mark

          I think even that’s way too subjective. Guys can get sucked into debating the minutiae between “cute” and “hot” for hours.

          My rating scale goes like this:

          - No interest
          - Would do it but not willing to work for it
          - Would do it and willing to work for it

          Why or how girls fall into each category doesn’t matter. It can be looks/personality/circumstantial/etc.

  • Kim

    Guys that are terrible with women who also have massively high standards (super judgmental, borderline misogyny) are a dime a dozen. I guess it’s a way of rationalizing their own failures?

    • Gully

      Theres some truth to this. Its the guys that really nick pick that piss me off.

      Like ‘oh her nose is too small/big, I dont like her eye colour’. Its like really? Shut the fuck up.

      When it comes to sleeping with girls I have less standards but when it comes to girlfriends I have higher standards. Which is probably why I dont have a girlfriend at the moment lol. I refuse to artificially lower my standards though, it wouldn’t feel right to make a forced compromise to go out with a girl who doesnt really turn me on. So im holding steady for now.

      • Mark

        My friend Doc used to have a great thing he’d say to guys like that. It’d usually go something like this:

        Doc: “She was cute…”
        Guy: “Eh, her hips were a little wide for her body and I don’t like the dress she’s wearing.”
        Doc: “I see. So if she showed up on your door step naked, asking to have sex with you, you’d tell her no?”
        Guy: “Umm… well, see it depends on…”
        Doc: “Yes or no. If you went home and found that girl naked in your bed, asking you to fuck her, and no one would ever know but you and her, would you do it or not?”
        Guy: “Well, yeah, of course I would.”
        Doc: “Then shut the fuck up.”

      • Traindom

        It really is like that scene from Shallow Hal, specifically the elevator scene between Jack Black and Tony Robbins. “Oh yes, I like blah with her blah but if only she had bleh’s bleh which would look better with blih’s blih….”

        • Gully

          Haha yeah, this post made me think about shallow hal.

          I think we would all be a lot happier if physical beauty wasn’t so important. I’m willing to look past so much if the girl is hot – where as if im not pysically attracted to the girl, then even if we get on really well and she’s a great person and logistically everything is perfect I still won’t be interested.

          Yet with the hot girl – I keep coming back for more – despite the fact that shes cold and aloof, that she doesn’t really care, that she isn’t the nicest or warmest person.

          Whether this is inbuilt biology or my own workings I’m not sure. But right now how physically attractive the girl is still the deal breaker.

          As much as I think being like the reformed shallow hal would be good – god damn it would be hard to achieve.

  • Seele

    How exactly is internal validation built? Telling myself I am pretty and smart does seem as useful as praying to me. Earning more money because of hard work working out to look better seem both much more promising. Is that the way to find internal validation?

  • J.D.

    This is a good article, but it could have been a spectacular article. The idea of being *internally validated* is one of the most important concepts in psychology and, I would argue, in life. But you only mentioned it in the last paragraph. And one could be forgiven for being confused about your viewpoint. What’s the distinction between internal validation (which the last paragraph seems to say is good) and “you should only be validated by yourself or your own actions” (which the beginning of the article says is not realistic)?

    • Mark

      The point of the article, in a sentence could be described as this: building up internal validation is not the same thing as eliminating external validation. We all need external validation, and we can never stop having it.

      • J.D.

        OK, I guess at this point I’m just playing the role of nitpicking composition professor. Excellent point delivered in a somewhat incoherent manner. The last paragraph seems to be making a triumphant point about internal validation being the gold standard, but the real point of the article is that internal validation isn’t enough.

        By the way, I think it’s more accurate to say that the pickup industry point of view is not “don’t be a validation-seeker” but rather “don’t ACT like a validation-seeker”. If men stopped wanting validation, the PUA customer base would dry up in a hurry.

        • Mark

          Read it again. The point is that developing internal validation is important, but the need for external validation never goes away.

          Traditionally, “inner game” advice in the community has told you that you shouldn’t seek external validation because you should be internally validated instead. They present it as an either/or proposition. And this leads guys to a lot of frustration.

          My point is that external validation is fine, it’s just not enough by itself.

          Hope that clears up the confusion.

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