When you’re a kid, you often receive more positive affirmations than you do as an adult — and becoming hooked on this kind of praise can occasionally result in some unhealthy mental tendencies as you get older.
Recently, Twitter user and author Valerie Valdes posted a thread about kids who’ve been told that they’re smart during adolescence and are now wondering where that sense of “smartness” has gone.
Hey, friend. Were you a smart kid who always heard about how smart you were and are now not feeling so smart? Are you, in fact, feeling fairly shitty about yourself? This thread is for you.
— Valerie Valdes (@valerievaldes) June 8, 2018
As Valerie explains, this sense of confusion is frequently the result of an ingrained need for validation.
Authority figures tell you how smart you are during your youth — and you become convinced that the only way that can be true is if people continually tell you that you’re smart (which they are less likely to do as you get older).
When you begin to struggle as an adult, it can feel as though you’ve suddenly “lost” your smarts.
And all of this results in a constant feeling of inadequacy.
Of course, Valerie doesn’t pretend to have all of the answers — but she does have some helpful tools for people to use when they start perpetuating that endless insecurity loop.
In Valerie’s mind, the solution starts with being kinder to yourself — and distancing yourself from negative people.
Also important: not being so focused on a “gold star” at the end of a project.
Cutting yourself some slack can relieve some of that deep-seated need for external validation — which will help you to appreciate yourself more.
So, yeah … I’m pretty sure we all needed to hear that.
Be nicer to yourselves, y’all! And don’t worry about constant validation from other people, because it’s an utterly imaginary form of emotional currency!