In this episode Melissa and JJ talk about internal and external validation and how validation changes from childhood to adulthood.
Melissa Albers 0:00
Hey everyone, you are listening to the self awareness journey podcast. This little banter is about a car ride long and features your hosts JJ Parker. And Melissa Albert JJ owns a tech company. And Melissa has been a coach working with influencers for the last 18 years.
JJ Parker 0:18
So, Melissa, we're talking in this episode about validation. Yes. Right. Right. So and so when we started, you know, just moments ago talking about like, Hey, we're gonna have an episode about validation. You and I really started kind of stumbling around. What validate. It's like, yeah, like, we're talking like, yeah, we have a loose plan for our podcasts. But this one, we were like, where do we even start with this topic and his idea of validation, right? Yes. So, first thing of course, we run to the dictionary to figure out what this word actually means. So validation in our context is recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile. So that's an interesting definition.
Melissa Albers 1:23
Yeah. And I, I really like this topic, despite the fact that we're having a little bit of a hard time getting into the conversation. I think that, you know, like, I always say, putting the cookies on the bottom shelf making this easier. It's like, I think, for our whole lives from the time we're really young people encouraged us to act a certain way, publicly or socially or in our family units or whatever. And when we do that, we get the payoff, right.
JJ Parker 1:50
You get you get the validation.
Melissa Albers 1:52
Yes, you get the validation, you get their approval, right, and it makes you feel good like oh, I'm part of this. I I'm, I'm cool. I'm, you know, I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Everybody thinks I'm so awesome. And I remember like, as we were talking this morning, I remember, my grandparents were both ministers. And I would live with them every summer. And they shared a church. They were they were co ministers of a church, and in a really little town, and I would live with them all summer long. And then of course, I was at church with them whenever they were and they lived in a parsonage, which is the minister's home that is usually attached to the church or right next to the church. In their case, it was on the other side of the block. And, and so, when I would show up there, my grandparents were always so proud of me. They were so proud. And I and I'm an only child, and I had a bit of a Crazy childhood, but the consistency was always counted on there. And I remember that they had this little church and it had like a steeple and it had like a bell tower in the front where the rope for the bell tower would literally hang down all the way to the floor in the front entryway of this church, and Mr. Boynton would ring that bell. Mr. Boynton didn't weigh 100 pounds and how he got that bell rocking and rolling every. I never figured that out. But anyway, every time I would walk into that church, it's like everything stopped. Because the church was so full of older individuals, seniors and elderly and some some families but I was like a movie star. And every summer, I would get a little bigger and people would pay so much attention to me. And they would make me feel so good. And then I started to play an instrument so then I would start talking flute in the church services and, and I got so much validation from those people that genuinely made me feel so good inside. It was just they were they were validating me because I was me. And I was yeah ministers grandchild, little missy. I was called missy. And, and, and I just I remember just kind of flourishing under that under that attention. Hmm. But in hindsight it's sort of interesting to think about it because for me and you know, we always talk about extroverts and diverse and that sort of thing for me. I began to feel as I got older that that was the kind of validation that made me know if I was being the right way or not.
JJ Parker 4:51
All right, so there's the key right there. Yeah,
Melissa Albers 4:54
like that. external validation is like, oh, are people treating me in a certain way? So that tells me that I should keep doing this. Like, I'm going to use the I'm going to use their response to me as my guideposts for fitting in
JJ Parker 5:11
Melissa Albers 5:12
I think, though, that what happened for me and maybe other people too, but I got so used to if I just act this way and make people validate me, I know that I'm on the right track, I can keep doing this. But there comes a time and a place where as, as I matured, there comes a time and a place for everybody where we recognize what other people want us to act and be and do is really not in alignment with what makes us feel good.
JJ Parker 5:44
So maybe for you like nowadays, kind of being on stage in that way. Isn't, isn't what you want isn't what makes you feel good, right? or certainly in certain situations, that's not
Melissa Albers 5:58
well, and so then, let me go Give you a counter example, which is very funny. So then, on the other side of my family, we also have a bunch of ministers. It's like the family business, you know, people have the mob, I have ministry. And in this side of the family, very different kind of church, very large church, charismatic, as all Heck, you know, an hour of singing and clapping hands and you know, like, really, really overt patterns of noise and you know, all that other stuff in here. And whenever I would go to that church, I looked just like my aunt, who was one of the pastors of the church. Hmm. And so, I would get brought up to the front row of this church that had hundreds of people in the pews. And they would bring People up to the front of the church to be saved. And me being raised in this small country church was so out of my element, I had no idea how to act. Interesting. And yet, if you look at those two examples, you could say, oh, family member comes to church, family member comes to church, like there's certain expectations, right? I had no idea what to do in that second example. And I felt that I was super self conscious. Yeah, I was kind of embarrassed because I felt like I didn't fit in, but I didn't know how to act. And there I was, like, oh, if I'm expecting all of these people to really like me, because I have to act a certain way. I actually don't know what that is. And now I don't feel good. Like I feel really, I feel really uncomfortable now. Yeah.
JJ Parker 7:57
Melissa Albers 7:59
Yeah. And I I just feel like you know, as we develop and as we get better with self awareness, to me, recognizing what makes us feel good inside is so critical. And what validates us is a really good marker for us to use, you know,
JJ Parker 8:20
the DIA. The other thing as I was looking up definitions of validation, I came across this other phrase, validation of feelings is vital to connecting with others. Oh, right. Wow. So, I, I think we've probably all been in a situation I mean, I certainly like my wife and kids. And the, you know, the chaos and the sometimes pushed emotions is good. I mean, we've gotten in a lots of discussions where you One of us might be feeling a certain way. But we're not validating that. And it's, it becomes like a really stressful part of shipping.
Melissa Albers 9:12
It can turn it turn into things like that you don't want.
JJ Parker 9:16
Mm hmm. Yeah. From my experience, one thing is really interesting in the idea that there's validating someone's feelings, right? And there's a difference between validating someone's feelings and you have in the same feelings, right? Exactly. Even like, or even, you know, it's like, with me and my wife, she might have a feeling I don't have it. I don't have that same feeling like an exam. A very easy example was we're we're coaching baseball this summer, is that first time in any organized sports right out After the first practice, we got this like, nasty email from my wife just like exploded. This is what happens. You know, we're helping out here and he's always mad. Right? And I like really didn't care. Like I just couldn't have. I couldn't even conjure up any feeling at all. I just didn't care. And, and because I really wasn't validating her. Yeah her feeling her anger in that moment she really mad at me like
Melissa Albers 10:35
why are you mad at me?
JJ Parker 10:43
Does he was mad at the parents he was mad at me just kind of mad but and that just happens. But if I would have just validated her feelings and said something as simple as Yeah, that's super frustrating. I can see how you'd be upset about that. And then what All depends on, you know, that happens all the time.
Melissa Albers 11:05
There's so many angles to this that I just love like, because we could come at that conversation and that story from the angle that says, you, you are having your own emotions and feelings about it. So it's really hard to to be present for other people's emotions and feelings. When you're having your own, whether they match or not. And then having the presence but again, that's the self awareness having the conscious knowledge in real time, how you think feel act, right? And be able to like real time be able to say oh my gosh, okay, so these are my this is how I'm responding. This is how this other person is responding. And how am I supposed to validate that other person, particularly when I haven't even wrapped completely my arms around how I'm thinking and feeling about this in this moment, which is an interaction and hearing I think herein lies the question. Question mark. It's like, at what point? Do we stop needing other people's responses to feel validated ourselves?
JJ Parker 12:15
Melissa Albers 12:17
That to me is the real question. And this is not to say we don't need people who don't love people, of course, I mean, yes, of course you do. But too often, we we meaning everybody, not just you and your story, not just me and my story, but like, too often we need other people to tell us we're doing okay. Because we've lost the ability or never had the ability to validate ourselves.
JJ Parker 12:46
Hmm. So that would be an external validation. I need extra money someone Yeah, side of myself, too. To say hey, it's okay that you feel and think this way.
Melissa Albers 12:59
Yeah. Yeah. And like you won't be okay. Unless you get that. You won't feel okay. Unless you get that, which is very different than boy, it sure would be nice to have some support. But I know I'm okay either way, because I know how I feel is really okay. Like, the reason I'm responding to this is I understand why I'm feeling this way. And even if it's not popular, or it's not like anybody else, I still know that I'm okay that this is okay that I'm responding this way. That's a huge difference. Like that's the internal validation piece.
JJ Parker 13:38
Yeah, it's really interesting when you think about it, and when we're first starting the conversation, feel when even when you're talking about the small church situation and you started describing it or what I what I was hearing, was you're describing it like acceptance in that tribe, right? Yeah. acceptance in that in that group of people. And that's like a real fundamental human need, right? Like we need to be in groups to survive, right? It's a it's a real primal wiring and the brain.
Melissa Albers 14:10
JJ Parker 14:11
Yep. So and and those primal wirings. Like you can't go against them, right? As soon as you start going against some of that real deep wiring stuff, you get a real sideways. So, yeah, the idea that validation is part of how you know, you're fitting in with the tribe, which is kind of in your monkey brain, right? When your brain is saying, Hey, this is an essential part of survival. If I don't do this essential part of survival, I will not survive. Yeah, in our modern society in our modern environment, that survival part isn't as necessary, right? It's not like we're all living in the woods. Yeah, foraging for food every day, right? But that's still there. And we have to understand it's still there. And we have to understand how we work with it. Yeah, now.
Melissa Albers 15:10
Yeah, I think yeah, that's so that's such a valid point and perspective that I hadn't thanks for
JJ Parker 15:16
Melissa Albers 15:20
I'm here for I just want to get inside no matter what. But isn't that interesting, though, like as as society changes how much it stays the same as people change how much we'd stay the same. And it is, it is literally the difference between wanting to be in the tribe because it feels right, versus needing to be in the tribe, and altering who you are. Because you're so afraid. If you weren't in that tribe, there's a lot of tribes to choose from now.
JJ Parker 15:58
A lot. Yeah,
Melissa Albers 15:59
there's a lot of competing tribes No. And I think as you develop like, Don't you like, Don't you feel like if you just look back over the last, like, even decade for you and like for me, if I look back over the last 10 years, my tribe has changed. Like, who I hang out with, or who I go to for talking about things or seeking guidance seeking opinion has really changed in 10 years. And I think that happens for all of us all the time. And then but so many people feel like that's a bad thing. Like they feel guilty like I'm leaving these people or these people don't fit me anymore. Is it me? Is there something wrong with me? Why can't I just be satisfied being in this group because this is how this group acts. This is how we validate each other, but I just doesn't fit me anymore. So what's wrong with me rather than that's really interesting. Like I feel like I'm now ready to go pursue some new tribes to see what else is available. And I feel like that's the right thing for me to do. So even though the first tribe might not see that as a great thing, I know it's the best thing for me.
JJ Parker 17:14
Yeah, let's talk like, let's talk about, you know, so I think we get external validation, right? It's Yeah, it's we fail something we want someone else to say. Yeah, that's okay to feel that way. Then you feel, you know, like you, you fit in right. Internal validation, I think is really interesting to me, like, the idea that, do you think that internal validation is, like a skill we work on? Are some people just born with more ability to validate internally? Is it a life experience that pushes people one way or the other? What do you think about
Melissa Albers 17:55
that's so interesting,
JJ Parker 17:57
someone who is maybe like, really You know, how do you phrase like good internal validating or maybe doesn't need external validation? Maybe that's a better way to phrase it. A person who doesn't need external validation, it comes from within, how did they get to that state?
Melissa Albers 18:12
How did they get to that state? That's so good because if you think about it, from the time we're really little, we are practiced in seeking external validation in everything, like when we're at school, our teachers, our coaches, when we're in families, you know, when we're in our neighborhoods, like the pecking order of what kid is the one on the top right, like our whole lives were on this external validation and then I think is and depending on our family structures, and our birth orders, you know, all have stuff to do with that. And, and I, I believe, truly that there's two things for me that have changed my ability to have more internal validation, so I'm just gonna make a sweeping guess. I'm gonna just make this We think I
JJ Parker 19:00
like that phrasing.
Melissa Albers 19:02
Sweeping guess. Yes, a global, lacking detail, which is my personality right there global lacking detail. I would say that the two markers are self awareness and self confidence. So, like, because I think first of all, yeah, like, have you ever had friends where they're telling you to go do something or be something? or been in social groups or CEO groups? Or where they're telling you, you should do this? You should do that. But inside you're like, no, that's not the right. That's not right at all for me. Yeah. So what made it get to that point for you? Like, those are the two things I would say that I've worked for me so that I start understanding that I, I'm okay, like, I check, I want to feel good. Everything I do, is because I want to feel good. So the decisions that I'm making and Like not not feel like the best not feel false, but feel me being my centered space be my authentic me. I feel good. Therefore I make choices and decisions constantly to stay in that state of feeling good.
JJ Parker 20:14
Yeah. Yeah, I think, yeah, you're trying to lead me on a particular.
Melissa Albers 20:21
Sorry. You're right off into another one that's different.
JJ Parker 20:27
You know, I'd say for me, like, especially the we've we've talked about it, actually, we talked about it, I think, in May, the trigger is less than about my feeling of like imposter syndrome. Yeah. In in like my CEO, peer group, right. And you're right on the right track there because yeah, I could very easily be in that group and all the time. They're like, JJ, you should go do this and that and
Melissa Albers 20:55
I do that
JJ Parker 20:56
all the time. Every everybody and acting like a particular way that a classic CEO would either act or run their company, right? Yep. Yep. Yep. That's not how I run a company. That's how I act. That's not how I do things. That's not me. Like, I'm an art school kid. We don't run things like a typical company runs it. It took a while for me to be okay with that, you know? Yeah. It took a while for me to
Melissa Albers 21:29
help you be okay with it.
JJ Parker 21:32
Well, I you know, for me, it really, it's really been this idea of like, just accept accepting myself, right? Yeah. Yeah, accepting myself accepting my story. This is just this is it, you know? And then and then actually, being proud of that stuff. You know, like, like, I'm really at this point proud that like, I have a different way of looking at things and, and you know, it helps that it works. That's part of it. But if it turned into a disaster, then I'd probably not based on confidence.
Melissa Albers 22:15
But you have lots of years of experience you have, I don't even know how many employees you have at this point, lots. You know, all of those, all of those things that you have been the building blocks that you had in your heart and your mind that didn't look like the building blocks of the traditional way of thinking, you just kept building them quietly, doing your thing, even if it was unpopular. Mm hmm. And you have had great success and at times where other companies have had troubles due to you know, whatever the socio economic climate or whatever you Guys have still done really well.
JJ Parker 23:03
I bet you're gonna say these psychopathic behavior of CEOs.
Melissa Albers 23:09
Oh, I wouldn't say travel in too small of a circle the same thing. Quickly.
JJ Parker 23:19
Hope this podcast isn't recording. It's okay. No one listens to it anyway. As I was reflecting as you were talking about your childhood things, and now we're talking about kind of like my career, and I was I was thinking about my childhood things and what I was being validated as a child, you know, and again, the personality trait plays a big part of this, right? Yeah. But for me, I think I was really validated for like, just sort of staying quiet, keeping my head down and then doing work, right. Yeah, I remember very distinctly, I was in seventh grade. And my English teacher I was I was there before class because I was got there before and the other kids got there because I wasn't screwing around the hallways. And I was sitting there and she just goes, she was JJ. I just love you. You're the best student I've ever had. As a seventh grader. Okay, idea you love me? No, I don't have emotions. They live here at school. But I wish that was her saying, you know, what was the validate? Like, I like that you're quiet and you just do your work, and I don't have to deal with you. Right You don't make a ruckus you don't you know. And, and for me, it's, it's like when I get emotionally overwhelmed. I definitely go into the quiet heads down. No one can see me kind of space huh? Yeah,
Melissa Albers 25:00
yeah. Yeah, that's interesting, right? I think it would be like, I think it's interesting to just sort of reflect this conversation is really like curious, like, I'm going to be thinking about this now, because you've just we've really brought up some cool things about it. But I think it'd be really interesting to consider how you were raised, like, how did you get validated when you were being raised? And that is when awesome question for everyone to contemplate that and then how do you? How do you get your validation that you need today? So leave it more open ended? Like how do you get the your validation that you need today? Does it come from your own, your own way, your own thoughts, your own being? Or do you seek it from other people or is there a balance? How does that work for you? Mm hmm. I think that's really, really interesting.
JJ Parker 25:58
What a great question. So We should just leave it there. Pick up that conversation like on Facebook. And yes. Go on Facebook and tell us tell us what you think. And we can, we can we can continue it with everyone there.
Melissa Albers 26:16
continue the conversation later.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai