Today is International Women’s Day! The first message of the day I received was from my teacher wishing me! It involuntarily made me smile because perhaps compliments like these are what I need to charge my batteries for every day! I feel grateful for people like her who do not shy away from speaking their minds most of the time. I found her validation for me in surviving and thriving. I remember my talk with her around two weeks back. While she was appreciating my efforts to continue writing about topics that are so relatable, we stumbled upon the topic of getting validation and our need to feel individually validated! She suggested I write about this thought since this idea continues to stay with all of us rent-free. She is the force behind me writing about this because, even if we do not openly agree, it is considered a frivolous word and it brings about a sense of guilt in women all around. Since we are told all the time that women are selfless and goddess-like, self-sacrificial, and are like a goddess to be looked up to; then it is not correct for us to feel the need, and the less validation we need, the higher we climb in our sublimity. However, we fail to remind ourselves that we are all humans and have no need to become a deity because there are already a number of them present throughout our history. We all indeed need as well as want to talk about it at one time or the other but maybe most of the time we get carried away with our guilt. At other times just the superfluous celebratory media marketing strategies turn our minds to the immense amount of floating advertisements regarding the same.
Right from Starbucks to Pizza Hut there have been several offers celebrating our existence, especially around the 8th of March every year! One of my friends is even availing this immensely juicy offer of buy one get one free on Pizza delivery as I am writing my words. Reading similar numerous online shopping offers and exclusive membership makes me wonder, is this the ultimate kind of validation that is kept exclusive for us? Is it the real deal while we celebrate our yearly validations for our existence that we need as women? Makes me wonder about the oscillations of necessity between our need or want regarding this debatable concept of self-approval as well as approval by others. I understand that there is a great need for our self-validation. It is many times more important than others’ appreciation of us. Every day women are raising our voice at all levels for creating our importance. Almost all of us agree that we need to respect ourselves first for the way we exist but is the celebration enough in the form of pamphlets and advertisements about appreciating our existence by putting on offers for us to uplift our buying capacity? I guess not.
According to the psychological theory of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the integral aspects of motivation for human beings include love, a sense of belongingness, and respect. So when people around me say that we don’t do a particular deed to get validation from others, I just want to remind them a little at that point that the reaction that they get to their action is in one way or the other validation to themselves either by others or by self! When they say such a sentence, they forget that it is human nature to naturally bond with others and that bonding cannot be done in isolation. So what is needed to make that bond stronger is to bring some sort of harmony or consensus among the existing selves., which further requires the act of validating each other or self. To explain the thought, I will go no further than myself because I believe I am my best example. When I get fewer likes on my Facebook, Instagram, or even LinkedIn or Twitter, there is a sinking feeling. That may or may not be common with others but at some point, or the other our social media is a platform that unknowingly validates ourselves in our eyes with just a click of a button. It is one of the stronger tools that carry the power to make or destroy our personality due to its heavyweights and validity. Be it individual involvement or praising at the group level, the idea that there is someone of some platform out there that agrees without thoughts, views, opinions, and visions is enough to develop our adrenaline rush in us as individuals.
This case is not gender-specific at all. However, I am a woman, and the sir around me is surrounded with the celebration of our likes. This makes me talk about the topic that spreads far and wide and take it as a micro discussion about my gender. You all are free to interpret your fluidity in its discussions! Hence when I see such lovely promotions and beautiful and thought-provoking messages floating through WhatsApp and other modes of communications, I deliberately want to talk about it. We live in our bubble and that bubble is so elastic that its stretchability expands far and wide. But the moment that bubble bursts, reality comes into focus. The need to get validation for ourselves merges with our want for self-validation. The thin line dividing the two ends up merging further and blurs down boundaries from one to the other. So, when our partners, siblings, offspring, parents, friends, and associates end up putting a seal of approval on our actions, we feel that all the efforts that we did are so worth it! We can protest as much as we want, but we have created this situation for our need to get the desired validation at such a level that there seems to be no sure shot exit visible as of now. So next time you see an interesting celebration offer or promotion to celebrate your existence, do away with that guilt and avail yourself of it with open arms. Remember, this craving to gain validation for our actions is as important as fighting to gain the right to our existence. Let it be a day or perhaps a week of celebrations, do not deny it. There is no harm in getting validation even for small moments because many times we all deserve what we want and what we want is quite a few times what we need. You may differ in your opinions but my need for this validation about your thought process is as equal if not more important as your concept of non-dependency on need and want of any such appreciations!