A reader writes in, on the topic of emotional validation:
“Hey there, been reading the site lately and I've noticed that one thing I haven't seen so far is a post about validation. Maybe you call it something different but I was talking to a female friend of mine and she brought something up that seemed similar to it.
I was telling her about how I and my pops were watching a Laker game and my mom kept bringing up how "she needs to get her work done." It was starting to irritate me because she would say it and then leave it up in the air.
After a while I barked back "well go do it then." I knew instinctively that wasn't the best thing to say but I really wanted her to quit with the empty statements lol!
So, after the game ended I talked to her about it and she was telling me how I could have said "I know you gotta get your work done but how about you relax with us and watch the game and then go start on the work afterwards?"
Now as soon as I heard her say that I immediately thought validation. I'm validating that thought or feeling by giving that response. While my response of "go do it" sounds like I'm rejecting her.
So I was wondering if you all could drop a post on validation. Once I realized this whole idea of validating a woman it gave me that "aha" moment, really started to put a lot of my failed interactions into a new light, you know? It also helped me to understand the whole chase framing, push-pull, etc. concepts because by validating her all of that stuff is much easier to pull off. Because she knows that you’re setting a frame but your pulling her along with you. Instead of making it seem like its her frame against yours like many other PUA’s seem to advocate.”
Our reader raises a good point here.
Validation is something I tend not to focus on much personally - it's something that fast becomes irrelevant when you're following the rule of thumb of always escalate and keep moving fast. But it's a real phenomenon, and it will affect your interactions with women - though, if you're doing things right, it should prove more a curiosity than a major distraction.
Here's what I mean.
In Search of Emotional Validation
One of the newer things I'm working with in the field of social dynamics right now is a perspective revolving around dependent and independent social positions. This isn't a knock on anyone, nor is it calling anyone weak; these social positions are changeable and depend a great deal on both circumstantial and interpersonal scenarios - e.g., a body-builder may be in an independent social position in the gym, where people are coming to him for advice or admiring him, and he needs no one, but a dependent social position at, say, a ski lodge, if he's never skied before and has no idea what he's doing.
I'll talk more about social positions another time, but it will help you to think of emotional validation as something that's a dependency - that is, it's something that someone else is depending on you (or someone, or something) to give to her - or, alternatively, it can be something that you're depending on someone (or something) to give to you.
Let's say you just had a really tough day at work. You lost a major client that the firm really needed; you totally botched it. You feel awful.
Now imagine your boss walks over, clasps his hand on your shoulder, and says, "Hey. You did as good as anybody could've done. You're still my ace in the hole here."
How do you feel?
That's emotional validation in action. You were feeling down in the dumps... and your boss came over and validated you right back up again.
People need emotional validation for all kinds of reasons - here are a few of them:
- They've suffered a string of defeats
- They've watched others doing well but they haven't been
- They've seen others getting validated but they haven't been
- They see people around them having fun but they're left out
- They feel lonely
- They're in dependent social positions and need attention from caregivers
- They need someone to "recharge" their emotions
Everybody wants or needs emotional validation at some point or another. How they go about getting it is different.
Men get emotional validation through conquest, while women get emotional validation through bonding. I've seen men who really liked bonding, and women who thrilled at conquest, but even with these individuals, the bonding men still liked bonding in a way that established them as dominant, and the conquering women still liked to bond with others over their conquests. Until I see otherwise, I'm considering this principle anecdotally universal.
Here's some anecdotal evidence: if you're a guy, and you're feeling worn down and beat up, what do you do?
A) Talk about your emotions with a friend, or
B) Go beat a video game, watch an action movie, or pick up a girl?
Yep - for men, the conquest rejuvenates us. For women though, it's the opposite. They need bonding time.
Here's the thing: women will at times sleep with a guy in pursuit of validation, but it's not for a conquest - it's for the bonding that comes with it.
Do I have your attention?
Becoming a Channel for Validation
A few years ago, I'd largely thrown out the idea of "validation" as useless to seduction. Women either liked you or they didn't, and if you quickly weeded out the women who didn't like you and escalated with the women who did, any concept of emotional validation whether it was a real phenomenon or not was a moot point.
But now that I've started thinking of things in terms of social positions, validation's become something worth considering again.
The thing with validation is, it's finicky. A woman might want your validation... but the instant she starts feeling like she can't get it and you're going to make her feel worse for being around you, she's gone.
That's the part the old school pick up artists who originated the idea never talked about. Yes, get women chasing validation from you... but you have to walk the fine line between not giving them so much that they're then satisfied and you're no longer interesting, and not giving them so little that they feel spurned and go storming off to seek validation elsewhere thinking, "I'll show HIM!"
The way to use emotional validation is, rather, to become a channel for it.
This is the part that's tough to explain.
Think of it like this: there are three things you can be when it comes to validation -
- Someone who needs it
- Someone who gives it
- Someone who isn't even in the picture
Imagine yourself in a nightclub, by yourself, feeling a little insecure because you aren't use to going out alone. You're someone who needs validation. A really cool guy who'd make you look good and include you in his group could probably give you validation. So could a cute girl who likes you. But some nerdy loser guy who also looks like he's by himself is irrelevant when it comes to your own personal levels of validation - he's not in the picture.
You want to be #2 when it comes to any and every social situation you find yourself in. You always want to be the guy others seek validation from.
So how do you get there?
A lot of it is your baseline, fundamental value. Things like:
- Being a dominant man
- Knowing how to attract women - and doing that
- Always having an air of sprezzatura about you
- Letting others come to you as much as possible
- Not trying to force things unnecessarily
- Being a good conversationalist capable of keeping things going easily
Get those things handled and you're 75% of the way there.
What's the other 25%?
It's learning the line and walking it.
That's going to come from experience. But here are a few quick tips to help:
- Go for humbleness. The reason why humbleness is so attractive is that it demonstrates a freedom from a need for the emotional validation of others. The man who is proud needs others' praise to uphold his vanity; the man who is humble does not, and thus is more independent, powerful, and free. Showing others that you appreciate but don't need their praise through humility communicates to them that you are someone who gives validation - not someone who seeks it.
- Offer some validation, but not excessively so. I'm skeptical by nature and not easily impressed, and have had to learn to praise people with time, as it isn't something I'm naturally inclined to do. So, I praise now, and my praise is genuine, but not effusive. I might say, "You did a great job - keep it up," or, "Hey, you look fantastic," but my tone of voice is largely unchanged and it takes some of the excitement out of it. This has had a rather natural effect of, incidentally, causing people to highly value my validation - because it seems (and is) sincere. Employ this strategy when giving validation: say the words you'd say as if you were impressed, but keep a normal or even skeptical tone in your voice to maintain balance.
- Place commands before validation. Say a girl seems to really want to tell you things about herself - she wants to impress you and make you like her. That's great - now tell her to sit down next to you. When a woman is seeking validation from you is the perfect time to give her a command and get her investing in you - this moves things forward, and manages to communicate interest in her and give her even better validation than she was looking for at the same time - you're telling her you really want to bond. If a woman tries bonding with you but you don't try conquering her, one way or another, the validation feels a lot less satisfying to her. Give her what she wants from you instead.
- Don't let her go on for too long without moving things forward a lot. Believe it or not, you aren't her girlfriend - and you're under no obligation to act as such. Women know what they get with men - if she wants to bond with a girlfriend, she'll talk to one of her girlfriends. When she wants to bond with a man, she comes to a guy - a guy like you. She'll tell you otherwise - I've had girls I've slept with who told me, "I really just wanted someone to talk to!" - but what she's actually saying is, "I really wanted to feel wanted and needed by a man who made me feel special and gave me an experience to remember." Move her towards intimacy - or swap numbers and arrange a date.
Being viewing yourself as a channel through which women (and people) can get validation, and build yourself up that way. As you do, you'll increasingly find that you have an easier time finding the kind of people you want and welcoming them into your life - because they are coming to you for their emotional needs.
Of course, you need to genuinely be able to connect with people - but if you've been immersed with the material on offer at this site, that shouldn't be too much of a problem for you.