Masterless Lucifer (wynden) wrote,
Masterless Lucifer

why do we need validation?

I am not generally a needy person. I have long held the philosophy that one should seek approval foremost from themselves. That is, we should act because we wish to act, not because we believe it is expected of us. We should try to improve because we wish to improve, not because someone said to do so. We should enjoy something because we enjoy it, not because everyone else seems to.

For the most part, I think I have successfully lived by this principle. I have sacrificed much to be true to myself. I have committed myself to the road less approved even in the face of fear and threats, because I knew that in the long run I would never be happy with any less. My dad wanted me to go straight to college after high school. I took a year off. He wanted me to major in computer science, but I had other unexplored interests to pursue. I remained committed to my goals even as financial & emotional support slipped away. And overall I am content with my choices and who I am.

In spite of this, I find that the absence of external approval has a tendency to upset me beyond reason. Even though I rationalize that it shouldn't.

Case in point, this semester I signed up for a dance class through the community college. Just a casual "Intro to Dance”. It’s supposed to be fun. Nonetheless, I try to give 100% to my endeavors, even if they are not something I am pursuing professionally. I stay after class to get one-on-one instruction when I am unclear on something, and I work at everything I have been advised to work on. I exercise and practice every night, and record myself so I can evaluate my progress. I try to do everything "correctly" and not just skirt by with my best guess.

For all of this, I have yet to receive a positive remark. Each class, the instructor throws out compliments and I find myself waiting like a trained animal expecting reward. I get angry with myself even for thinking it. For hoping for it. It is not constructive, and only makes me aware that it hasn’t happened.

I was planning to go to the library after dance and work on my other school work until it closed, then run an errand on the way home. Instead I became so demoralized for being singled out for a mistake that I had to come straight home and haven’t been able to concentrate on anything else.

Where is this extreme reaction coming from? I am taking this class because I want to learn dance, not because I want praise or acknowledgement. I don't intend to do this professionally. How do I turn this off?

**TL;DR** Would a compliment from a stranger make a happy hermit happier? Why?
Tags: depression

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