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Validation- Who should validate us?

Let’s discuss Validation. This strange question came to my mind, who should we entrust with validating us? Should it be ourselves; our spouses; our friends or our family or maybe even random strangers.

Validation in this concept is the act of receiving commendation or approval or even praise for who we are or what we have done. Validation is crucial to us as humans as it reaffirms our confidence and strengthens us to keep ongoing. Validation can come in the form of people making a call to encourage you or tell you; you are good enough or when someone says words to you that pushes you to be better.

Everyone wants to be validated, everybody needs to be validated. Validation can make you see yourself in a different light. It can make you believe you can do anything, give you superpowers or a least a sense of one. Validation gives us the courage to tap into a part of ourselves we did not know existed. When validated, we feel accepted, respected, wanted, and loved.

In the pursuit of validation, we must be wary of whom we give this sensitive responsibility to. This is because the person that has the power to validate you also has the power to tear your self-esteem into shreds at the slightest provocation.

Just a short while ago, I  put out a poll asking the question “who is responsible for validating us”? The response was quite diverse; with some noting that our family is responsible for validating us because they know us very well. Some said friends because they are always with us; thus, they must be able to encourage us, push us further, and continue to cheer us on. Others selected the spouse option, noting that we will be together forever so they must encourage one another to succeed. It is their responsibility to validate you at every turn. A few responses selected the self-option, i.e. self-validation. They noted that one must be able to look into the mirror and validate one`s self, they argued that this will make you less dependent on others and what they think about you.

So, what is my opinion on this matter, after all, this is an opinion piece? Personally, I believe that all of these people should validate us; at least to some extent. However, I strongly align with self-validation, it is our responsibility to validate our self. Indeed, you must be able to look in the mirror and cheer your self up. Something very similar to what Issa Rae of the hit TV series “Insecure” does.

My position is premised on the fact that every other person is human and thus imperfect, on some days when they are feeling bad or grey, they can hurt you, they can hurt your self-esteem; this is because they understand and they know your insecurities. So, while our family, friends, spouse, and random strangers can validate us, we must strive for self-validation.

I will like to know what you think on this subject matter, please read, share, and drop your comments.

Also, look out for all my previous write-ups on on different life issues.

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Opinion Piece by: Dr. Ejemai Olayemi

This Post Has 133 Comments

  1. Buraimoh

    Indeed there is a delicate balance between building and breaking down self estreem when receiving external validators. I believe in shuffling external validators as the circumstances demands and relying on myself to decide which seems best

  2. Chi

    I feel we seek validation most from people we love. I have been guilty of this for a while but recently, I’m starting to learn that my spoue is just a person like me. He has good and bad days too. So I look in the mirror and I validate myself. I’ve been feeling much better since I started this.


      WONDERFUL, looking to others for validation can bring untold consequences.

  3. MamaH

    It depends on which department of your life you need validating
    At home
    At work
    In minstry
    In the market place
    In any area of specialisation or Practice
    Different persons should validate you.

    However because the heart of man is desperately wicked, we find that by thy fruits ye shall be known (validated) – your works would validate you. Your attitude, manners, habits, character traits and values would validate you.

    Yet again ig people fail to recognise you based on your outputs, I find that there is only one sure validation that suffices and is above all else.

    Let God validate you dear. He is a rewarder and He pays dividends daily noy monthly or yearly

  4. Olufunmilade Adetogun

    Thank you for this beautiful piece. I sincerely agree that those who validate us, can also consciously or unconsciously tear us down on the premise that their imperfect human nature can come to play at dark moments. Interestingly, I had discussion around the topic with my mum this morning. We just need to align our self validation with validation from friends or family rather than depend only on the latter.


    I go with self validation. What anyone would say to or about us is based their perceptions and sometimes sentiment.

  6. Temi Ajibade

    In my opinion, the all sides of validation are necessary. However, the self validation is at the center of all. Because I can choose to accept or reject your validation. I think Self validation is good and okay for someone who has developed self Confidence overtime. Someone with a weak confidence will definitely need another person to validate his/her actions.
    In my opinion, the danger of self validation is that you might get sentimental to objectively validate yourself especially if overtime you’ve always had an excellent validation. so having someone else’s validation might be an eye opener but that doesn’t mean we should totally rely on someone else’s validation but it could be helpful sometimes.

    Another thing is that some of the people we sometimes look up to for validation e.g. Boss, So-called friends, a competitive spouse or sibling might be intimidated by the level of achievements hence, give a subjective validation. However, getting an honest validation from our trusted circle maybe family, friends or colleagues can boost morale.

  7. Mariam

    Nice piece. Self Validation is very important. No matter how much people try to make you feel good or validate you until you actually believe in yourself nothing can happen. While it’s extremely important to have a strong support system to help pick you up when you are blue you need to be able to convince yourself that standing up is actually worth it. You can drag a horse to the river but you can’t force it to drink till it’s ready.

  8. Foluke Ayuba

    It’s okay if people around us give their opinion about us and constructively criticize us but validation should be by self. You alone know yourself, your struggle and your aspiration. Self validation will ultimately supercede any other form if one is to fulfill one’s dream and purpose.

  9. Funke Eki

    Self valuation. This indicates self confidence and independence both of which are very important for success. On the other hand validation by family and friends is also important as it encourages us to do more, knowing we are appreciated.

  10. Timothy

    Nice write up!!!
    This is a ‘must read’ for everyone!
    However I strongly align with self validation.
    Welldone Dr Olayemi.

  11. Thompson Gabriel

    Wow!!! Going through all your works, if I must say, it really amazing. It will really make a great impact in those children life’s out there. Honestly, u have done a good job. Thumb up! Keep the fire burning.

  12. BRS

    Great thoughts shared.

  13. Ife

    Validation can come from different people, family, friends, strangers, I quite agree with that. But self validation should be done with caution, else it defeats the whole purpose of validation in the first place.

  14. Enemaku

    God,your conscience

  15. Wuraola

    In my view on who should validate you.You should be in the best position to validate yourself. But in doing self validation ,one should be very sincere, I am not saying beat yourself up but always try to tell yourself the truth at all times. Telling one’s self the truth is the best form of self validation.Thanks Yemi for this beautiful piece


      True, without sincerity of purpose, the objective will be defeated

  16. Ademuyiwa

    Thanks for the post. It got me thinking…
    Main determinants are situations and d stage of life we are.
    Children should be validated by their parents, especially during adolescence when there are challenges between reality and peer pressure.
    Self validation is an option for adults with “mind reflectors”…..You must be sure to stay real to yourself.


      Certainly, that is actually the most important thing to do. This because they grow up to be confident and ultimately they can self validate.

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