Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | November 2, 2011

seeking validation

I just had a realization about this blog. And about comments I post on others. A rather shameful realization. It’s not just about the connections and interweb friendships they create (although I’m loving that). There is a big part of me that is hoping for validation. Yes! I want you to say – how insightful was that comment by you! How brilliant your observations! How excellent your advice! Because that big part of me feels like what I write/feel/say isn’t any good unless someone else says it is. This is not really healthy. The thing is, I need to develop my own internal validation. I need to develop my own feelings of self-worth. I mean, mostly I do feel reasonable worthy but I seem to continually want shoring up by others. I’m finding myself obsessively looking at my site stats, wondering why 41 people showed up Monday to read but only 6 on Wednesday. Did they hate what they read? Do they think I’m an idiot driveling into the ether? Perhaps it would be better for me if I could just hide the site stats altogether, because basing my self-worth on the validations of others will always leave me trying to be something, do something, write something to measure up to someone else’s standards. And I don’t even really know what those standards are. The comments on others’ posts I suppose really are for them and their readers, but does it really matter if my comments are ignored? It shouldn’t, should it? But my blog here is for me. I need to remember that it is for me and it’s really a bonus if anyone else likes what I write. It’s really a cheap form of therapy.

But then there is validation that we are not alone. Allie Brosh of Hyperbole & a Half (I love her blog with a deep and abiding love) posted a brilliant examination of her recent bout with depression. The comments from readers were almost entirely either – 1) you’ve just described how I feel, or 2) I’m so sorry you felt that, with the occasional 3) you are so funny. That is a totally different kind of validation. One that builds us up by acknowledging our connections, our similarities. Validating our common humanity, in fact. I think a lot of the communication on the interwebs are seeking this kind of validation. So if I’m trying for that, that’s good, right? Throwing my crap out there and hoping that someone chimes in with “I feel your pain,”Β  “I rejoice in your happiness,” or whatever response would say “you are not alone in this.” Don’t we all want to feel less alone? Well, okay, except for the occasional if my kids don’t shut up and leave me alone to pee in peace kind of thing. What do you think? Do you get validation from blogging? Writing? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Responses

  1. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I do this, too. It’s not uncommon for me to check back at blogs where I’ve commented to see if there’s been any response. Illogically, I have a hard time responding to comments made on my own blog. I always read them, and appreciate them, but answering…. I always feel awkward.

    • I think it’s the obsessiveness with which I check them that I am finding worrying in myself.

  2. What? You had 41 responses to a post? What am I doing wrong?

    • No, no, no! I had 41 people visit the blog in one day. You, in am sure, have had way more than that! Most comments ever on a post is probably around 5.

      • Not really. I usually hover in the 20s. In the past few weeks I haven’t past 40 visitors in a day. I think I mostly get Betties unless I post a topic that might get hits from internet searches, like George Clooney!

  3. I think we are all seeking validation. With everything we do, every moment of our lives. Because who are we when we aren’t connected to others? Just little brains floating around in the ether.

    • You’re right. Although the image of little tiny brains floating around in the ether kind of illustrates what I feel like some days!

  4. I spent four years blogging to myself. Ha ha. I had my comments turned off because I didn’t want to deal with the spam.

    This year I turned them back on but I don’t do a stat on visits. I only post once a week. I really don’t care if one person or twenty leave a comment. What I do like is developing a readership not just a fly-by-night once only commenter. The spam is a pain in the butt. I must have to trash at least twenty a day. And you know what? I’ve come to recognize their names. Why don’t they give up?

    So here is your validation for today. ; ) I do like your voice. I enjoy hearing what’s happening. I keep coming back.

    • I got all squirmy warm and squishy feeling from “I do like your voice.” Thank you. Really.

      And why so many spammers? I get (of course I haven’t been out on the interwebs as long as you) about 2 a week.

      • I usually get about 2 a week as well, but last week on one day I got about 30. And they weren’t even on that week’s post. Weird.

        (I’ve been working on a comment of my own since yesterday, but am behind as usual.) – Bette Noir

      • You sound like you have enough crap going on in your life, commenting should be way down the list!

      • You’re so Betty. πŸ™‚

  5. I was going to say that when a comment goes unrecognized it’s now always being ignored, but Becky replied first. Because I am (as Skye and I have come to call it) “an attention whore” I already know how much I crave that validation. (Have you read my blog?! Isn’t it obvious?! I thought we ALL did it!)

    Maybe it’s not the best way to be (notice I did NOT say NORMAL), but it does seem to help us with all of the fabulous interactions we’ve discovered; new friends, new connections, new resources, new book suggestions, new ………..

    I agree with Robena, what you write is valuable, and I look forward to your posts. Before you started this site I also looked forward to your comments in other places.

    (OH! That reminds me, I had a dream about the book club forum, more on this later.)

    Yeah, so we need validating. We also need chocolate and some folks need wine, we need treats and vacations and sometimes we need new shoes. None of those are bad things.
    Julie

    • Yes, mom, you’re right. πŸ˜€ (Hah! How often do you hear that?) Reading through all of the comments, I’m feeling much better about my attention seeking tendencies!

  6. Shit.

    “…it’s NOT always being…”

  7. Betty Bear, you are right on. Validation is a huge motivator for me when I blog–although just the writing, the practice of writing is also very big for me. I love getting comments, both here and on the Bettyverse when I post there, but I also love the writing. My blog and commenting on others gives me a chance to practice every day.

    • I think I really crave the interaction, the conversation as it were. So that’s not a bad thing at all. And I am enjoying the writing out what is usually just inside my head. BTW, I really like your voice. It’s always a pleasure to see a new post from you.

  8. I do love it when people like my posts, especially when they think I’m funny. It’s a very Sally Field, You like me, you really like me, kind of moment. And really, what’s wrong with that? You put effort into your posts, you go to the trouble to share them, why shouldn’t you want some return on them? But I bet you don’t sit down and bawl when you don’t get it. The comments are just gravy. And what’s wrong with enjoying some gravy? I do love your blog, though the bitty Betty makes it hard for me to comment often. Keep it up.

    • mmmm, gravy! πŸ˜€ I know I was thinking of Sally Fields as well. And you are funny! I really enjoy reading your posts, and I’m impressed you manage any time to write with Sprout and bitty Betty. How are they? Did they have a good Halloween?

  9. I think it can be a slippery slope. I’m not a blogger and I don’t read a lot of blogs but I’ve sent in a few posts for The Bettyverse. And when I do I try to acknowledge each and everybetty that came to read that day, it’s a kind of thankyou card. When other Betties post, I do check back a few times a day just to try and keep up on the conversation if I can, some days are busier than others. And if someone responds directly to a comment I made it’s a nice surprise and it does feel very validating. But there are times that weeks can pass by and there won’t be much interaction and I just keep reminding myself that everyone reading is probably enjoying everybetty just as I am. I’ll read through the comments (or scan through time permitting) and see so much greatness and funny funny funny stuff but just don’t have time to stop down and comment about it. With that said, when those weeks pass without much interaction I just assume the reading and enjoying are likewise. I hope some of that made sense. You’re a terrific writer Betty Bear. I came here to validate you. What you write/feel/say is good! I wish I could visit all the Betty’s sites on a daily basis but I can only manage the once and a while link over from the FB page whenever something scrolls up that catches my attention. Today it was you Bear : ]

    • Well thank you kindly! πŸ™‚ I just need to remind myself that the reading and enjoying is going on even if there is little commenting, you’re right. If I wasn’t at home all day with a computer available everytime I sit down for a minute I wouldn’t check nearly so often! Probably I would get more done.

  10. If I answered every time someone said something smart/sharp/good on my blog, my fingers would fall off from overuse. Nevertheless, I totally validate you. Totally. With sparkles.


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