If you ever read the book The Five Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman, he lists how we give & receive love:
-Acts of service (doing something for someone, example: doing the dishes even though you might hate it)
-Physical touch (hugging, kissing, etc.)
-Receiving gifts (getting a tangible object from someone else with the intent of kindness & love)
-Quality time (going out of your way to spend time with someone)
-Words of affirmation (giving kindness or support with your words, example: “You are amazing at doing the dishes & you look good while doing them!”)
The last one is mine. I love words of affirmation. It motivates me to want to express the other love languages & as an insecure person it also makes me feel validated.
But why do I need validation from other people? Growing up as an extremely insecure person, compliments and praise fuel my confidence.
However, my confidence should come from within. It’s not easy for me to see the good in myself. It’s not easy for me to see how I help people. I’ve always needed the words from others to feel competent & succeed.
We live in the age of social media and getting instant validation through “likes” & comments. It makes me feel supported & honestly loved at times.
But what if someone doesn’t “like” my post? Why should that make me feel unworthy or not good enough? It shouldn’t.
When I first started writing this blog, I thought of it as more of a hobby. I’ll just get my thoughts out there & see how people react. The outpouring support I felt from my network & even strangers was amazing. I was getting “likes” & comments and it made me feel great.
This is only a temporary feeling though. Thoughts of insecurity begin to return when I post something that I think is great & I feel like no one has seen it when I receive little praise or any affirming words.
I asked my brother the other day, who posts motivational well thought out fitness videos nearly daily, “how do you feel when you put all that effort into something & you feel like it’s being ignored?” He answered, “I don’t do it for the likes. If one person sees my message & gains something from it- that’s all I need.”
This really changed my perspective. I’m writing this blog for me & to hopefully spread the message that it’s ok to not be ok sometimes. We all struggle through real life problems & I hope my stories help atleast ONE person out there, regardless if I’m getting “likes” on social media or not.
I learned that the most important person that should be liking my stuff- is me. So don’t do it for the likes. Do it for yourself.