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As referenced in this linked article from PsychologyToday, “Self-validation is accepting your own internal experience, your thoughts, and your feelings. Self-validation doesn’t mean that you believe your thoughts or think your feelings are justified. Many times, you will have thoughts that surprise you or don’t reflect your values or what you know is true. You will also have feelings that you know aren’t justified. If you fight the thoughts and feelings or judge yourself for having them, you increase your emotional upset. You’ll also miss out on important information about who you are as a person.”

Some of us are programmed to put others’ needs above our own, which can place us in awkward circumstances. When it comes to either satisfying your wants or pleasing others, you can wind up in a tough spot. You’re frightened of offending others, yet you also want to help others since you’re a nice person.

You may not want to turn down any reasonable requests, but consider that you also have your own needs to meet.

Regardless of which choice you select, the scenario appears to be a “lose-lose” predicament. It isn’t easy to find a way out of such circumstances, but keep reading to learn five ways to validate (check or prove the accuracy of) your needs:

Needs Validation #1: Remember That It’s Always Your Choice

When you find yourself in a position where you are hesitant to say “no” to what you really want, remember that you are free to make your own decision. You don’t have to constantly say “yes” to proposals that go against your needs.

Any reasonable human being will accept your decision if you choose to say “no.” It’s all up to you. You don’t have to put your wants aside to make others happy. It’s simply that you need some self-care right now so that you can help them out even more in the future.

Needs Validation #2: Assert That You Are Just As Valuable As Everyone Else

Do not put yourself down. You don’t have to agree with whatever other people say simply because you believe they are more valuable than you. That’s the first step toward mental calmness. Don’t be swayed by bullying or complaining. When you don’t respect yourself, you make it easier for others to disregard you and your needs.

Needs Validation #3: Be Assertive – Not Aggressive

Leaders are known for their assertiveness. When you assertively pursue your wants, you create a positive picture of what you want. Aggression, on the other hand, involves expressing hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another person. That won’t earn you very many friends, but it might encourage a similarly aggressive response.

Keep your head (and your emotions) about you, and be certain of what you want. Be clear and focused with your language so that people are more likely to understand what you want.

Be adamant and unapologetic. Here, your display of strong and powerful character takes care of everything.

If you appear to be lacking in assertiveness, it will backfire on you. People may misinterpret it as rudeness, so work to ensure that you are kind and considerate.

It can be very beneficial to practice selecting the appropriate words for the proper situation when you’re calm. Prior practice helps the words come more easily to you in the heat of the moment.

Validation Check #4: Be Authentically You

In terms of self-validation, this is being your true self and actively considering and acting on behalf of your needs; not deceiving yourself. It means you don’t act like someone you’re not. One of the most severe forms of invalidation is ignorance of one’s own needs.

The contrast between who you are and what you do is critical. You are not your behavior, yet altering some of your actions may help you feel better.

Validation Check #5: Normalize Your Needs as a Perfectly Imperfect Human Being

People who have specific needs may not consciously recognize any of their needs as usual. Everyone – all of us beautifully flawed, perfectly imperfect human beings – wants something.

Nobody is contented all of the time. It is natural always to want something. At the same time, it is vital to validate and accept when others feel the same way.

If you are depressed because you did not obtain a job you pursued, consider that others would also be depressed if the same thing happened to them. Check to see whether what you’re feeling is what most other people would feel, and affirm those sentiments as normal, even if you don’t enjoy having them.

Cut yourself some slack and try to remember that you’re more likely to share these feelings and reactions with others than to have them all by yourself. You’re not alone in what you experience and feel; there’s nothing wrong with having normal human feelings.

Affirmations to Help With Self-Validation

I am free to say no.

I set healthy boundaries for myself.

I deserve to go after what I need the most.

I take care of my own needs.

I communicate with others what my needs are.

I accept my needs for what they are.

I do not shy away from asking for what I want.

I go after what I need.

My positive energy helps fulfill my needs.

I surround myself with people who nurture my needs.

I do not fear what my needs are.

My life’s needs will transform

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About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested, proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

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