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Validate me, for I exist!
In the days of the 'hunter gatherers' life was a lot simpler in some ways. And way more transient in a lot of other ways of course! I mean, you could be dead any minute. But, as long as you were alive, you hunted, got food, warded off enemies if you were a MAN. You kept the cave clean, attended to the babies and ate whatever was left over as a WOMAN.Both parties did their bit and felt successful and validated.
Fast forward to today...men "hunt" for better opportunities, bigger business deals, they push each other off the rungs of the corporate ladder. They feel validated. Women still keep house, look after babies PLUS hunt shoulder to shoulder with men. Of course, some men keep house too but women are still a overwhelming majority. So, validation for a lot of women has doubled.
And the human race thrives on validation. The desire in us to be recognised , to feel successful and important is ingrained, prewired and undisputed. When we are children, we get it from our parents in oodles. Mums and dads would up to a certain age validate a child simply for existing and bringing them joy:)
Now, I will narrow this down to a small group of men ( at least I hope they are a small group).Let's make up a name for them... let's call them the 'VALIDATORIANS' These guys had arm loads of validation when a child, especially from mum. Any skill or potential talent was praised sky high to a point where the need to DO anything with that talent was forgotten. Mind you, the same can happen to little girls as well. But, as I made it clear at the outset, this is about men.
The 'validatorian' goes ahead in life, and , well, pretty much does nothing with it. Doesn't pursue higher education or even a career path. So, the 'hunting' instinct looks for other sources of validation. Couple with this the ingrained habit of being 'validated for existing' AND you have a recipe for relationship problems.
For, now, it is up to the girl friend/ partner/ wife to validate our 'validatorian' and make him feel successful. That doesn't sound like a very unreasonable thing at first glance. I mean, our 'significant other' is meant to be protecting us from feeling 'insignificant'..correct? And it is not a hard thing to do either. One would like to validate the man in one's life for being loving, kind, romantic, creative, caring etc. But what if it doesn't stop there? What if it is just the tip of the ice berg?
Our 'validatorian', if you remember, has not done anything with his life in the education/ career or monetary front to feel successful. He hasn't even nurtured any in born talent to prominence or eminence. On top of that , his ego, having been fed on a huge diet of adulation by doting parents , has now grown to monstrous proprtions.
Now, you are in trouble as this man's 'significant 'other. For no matter what you do or say, you will not be able to fulfil his need to be adored and appreciated. At first you will find it kind of cute, then you will smile to yourself and give in for a bit longer. Beware, for you will not assuage that appetite ever. As the months and years will drag on, so will your tenacity. Until, you will find this constant need to feel appreciated in another grown up unbearable on a daily basis. to make matters worse, you on the other hand will be feeling increasingly 'under appreciated'.
For what will be coming your way, would be a few stock phrases about how much you are 'appreciated and loved' which would ring as hollow as a drum. A drum that knows only to beat its own rhythm!!!
Then a day will come when you will not want to validate him for 'being the best artist ever who could have been rich had he chosen to go after money,' or for cooking a roast meal for dinner. for watering the plants, for lifting 80 plus kgs at the gym, for having drawn the best sketch of a lantern when he was 8 years old, and for endless other feats of wonder that he is proud of. Then, you will be accused of not being 'loving' or caring or supportive enough...
That is when you( while juggling your successful but busy professional life along with being a parent and a partner) are going to start to feel seriously unhappy. I know,for that is where I am standing at this point. And very soon, I will have to decide what to do.
If any of this rings a bell, feels familiar, stop and take note. And share with our readers if you too know a 'VALIDATORIAN"!
© 2016 tukicat