Podcast – Episode 0379 – The Power Of Self Validation

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the power of self validation and how it can help us find more happiness and peace in our lives.


In this podcast you’ll find:

  • What is self validation?
    • What self validation actually means to us, especially in today’s world.
    • What does your identity have to do with it?
    • One of the worst things you can do when self validating.
    • Is there an art to giving validation to ourselves?
    • The medicinal effects of self validation.
  • When we seek external validation.
    • What is really going on with our emotions (Dr. Richard Bandler).
    • Experiencing Tony Robbins’ disempowering rules from Awaken the Giant Within.
    • Why we’re hooked into the seductive validation of social media.
    • What are the effects of invalidation?
  • Joel and Antonia deconstruct a recent heated argument.
    • When our intent is not understood.
    • What is going on when we are so emotionally charged.
  • How do we find the strength to self validate during arguments?
    • Should we require others to see our side?
    • The different forms of aggression we exhibit.
    • Why we often feel like people are withholding something from us.
    • What do people owe to your thoughts and feelings?
    • What we are actually seeking in our social media interactions.
  • How our self validation abilities have developed…or not.
    • Dr. Timothy Leary’s Eight-circuit model of consciousness.
    • When social media messes with one of those circuits.
    • Why we often rely on outside approval.
    • What modern complexity is doing to our state of mind.
  • What it is that you are actually honoring within yourself.
    • The big thing you can stop relying on.
    • Does being validating mean being in agreement?
    • Why” steel-manning” creates reciprocal validation.
  • What you can do to build your self validation muscles.


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Showing 7 comments
  • BarbS

    I love listening to your podcast! This is the first time I’m commenting. I’m an anxious person and over the years, I realize I was seeking a lot of validation from others but it wasn’t getting inside my being. Lots of years later of trauma therapy and self-love, I am much better now that once the anxiety comes up, I self validate and can calm myself down. Anxiety almost seems like a natural state of being for me. The older I get, it’s as if my anxiety feels comfortable to rise to the surface for almost no reasons! Throughout my career and my childhood I had to act like I wasn’t afraid of anything, now it’s as if my body is outgassing all of this cellular anxiety! Self validation has been a key for calming! Thank you so much for your wise podcast! I enjoy listening to your banter as well!

  • Caty Lee

    Hey Joel and Antonia, thanks for the intriguing conversation! A thought that came up was about the potentially positive impacts of invalidation. Given that negative emotions can be powerful triggers for positive change, I wonder how often a person’s being invalidated actually turns out to be the best thing that could have happened to them and/or the world.
    Don’t want to get in the way of your self-validation but I loved the conversation and look forward to the next one 😉

  • Ella

    Love your podcast! Appreciate your work. Regarding the definition of unconscious, I totally understand that Joel was just trying to make a point rather than be super accurate, but I wanted to say that I don’t think you were being pedanitc, Antonia, in trying to define unconscious! I think it’s VERY important how you understand the range of unconscious phenomena. Yes, we can go too far and say that people have NO control over their unconscious which can be disempowering and dishonest (e.g. you end up treating people like they have NO ability to change), but it’s really important not to ascribe too much conscious understanding/intention to things that do have some quality of being unconscious.Then you might start feeling harshly toward people for their own struggles in a way that backfires for all involved. It’s really hard to be compassionate and patient with ourselves and others if we start projecting our version of what it’s like to be unconscious of something (e.g., maybe you yourself are at least semi-conscious of a lot of your patterns) onto people who, for many different reasons, may have repressed or buried or alienated themselves/been alienated from unconscious content. I fully have a charitable view towards y’all’s work so I’m fully sure you’re not coming from a place of trying to be uncompassionate…but nonetheless I wanted to reach out on the topic because I do think this issue of what it means to be unconscious is closely tied to our ability to have compassion for others wherever they’re at in terms of their own unconscious content.

  • Ruth

    Great episode! I love how you guys went through this difficult experience, and then almost immediately hopped onto a podcast to share your experience and what you learned from it 😀 it’s very reassuring, and also inspiring, to know that even seasoned, self-aware couples still go through these “crazy” moments xP

    As for the importance of self-validation, I couldn’t agree more! Rather than from peers, I have looked for validation primarily from authority figures. I was raised in a very Si-Te rich environment (IxTJ mom, ISxJ dad, and three older siblings, mostly SJ-types), so that was what validation looked like to me. Si-Te thinking and behaviours were validated as “mature”, “effective” and “good”, while Fi was labelled as “willful” and “selfish”, and Ne was looked down on as “irresponsible” and “unreliable”.

    Even now, knowing that I am an INFP (but often still testing as an INFJ, or sometimes INTP), I see those functions as representing my “inner parent”, a.k.a. the “voice of wisdom”, and have allowed them to guide many of my major life decisions thus far. Even as a 30-something, I am still choosing to live in ways that gain me Si-Te validation. Not surprisingly, this hasn’t resulted in my happiness or fulfilment, but it was only recently that the irony (and danger) of it struck me. I was listening to your podcast, “Four Ways To Show Love To Your Partner’s Personality Type”, and reflecting on Antonia’s observation of how uncomfortable it is when you are in an environment where everyone has your weakest functions as strengths, and it dawned on me me…I think my entire life has been one long experience of just that! Home life, school, university, work, there was nowhere that Si-Te wasn’t continuously modelled to me as, “This is what an adult looks like” – and I desperately wanted to be seen as an adult, because adults get validated and taken seriously, unlike children. It is no wonder, then, that I grew up subtly despising my Fi-Ne strengths. Despite being better equipped to lead, they were always disrupting my efforts to become more like the adults around me, to succeed in the ways that they expected. According to them, all that Fi-Ne knew how to do was play and relax (i.e. be self-indulgent and lazy) – there was no example of what mature, adult Fi-Ne was capable of, and no encouragement to get there. So of course, I chose the more “sensible”, “respectable” career path of Science (“Creativity can always be a hobby”), and dreams of being an animator or a story writer were put to sleep. In fact, all dreams, save one, were put to sleep – I was going to be a geneticist, and that was that. All other futures ceased to exist.

    Fast-forward 10 years, and it is quite obvious that things did not go as planned. I know now that academia was never going to make me happy (just an MSc is fine, thanks…), and neither is working in a commercial lab (my current occupation). And yet, every time I try to think about how to get off this train, no idea is good enough, and the inspiration dries up. But all of this has made me wonder now, what is “good enough” – what are the criteria, and whose criteria are they? I have been working hard over the last few years to reconnect with my authentic self (surprise, I’m also a Type 9), so that I can make more authentic decisions moving forward, but no matter how much progress I make in that, progress in actually changing my circumstances has been almost non-existent. Perhaps, though, this is part of the reason why. Despite them being my weakest functions, I have continued to over-value the perspectives of Si and Te in my decision-making, effectively putting my 10 year old in the Driver’s seat, and consulting my 3 year old as the Co-pilot – because that is what the people I look up to do, and that is what they will validate. I have learned over and over again that that is not me, and yet, when it comes to making big decisions, those are still the people (and inner voices) whose stamp of approval I am waiting for. I have realised, though, that I will be waiting forever if what I want validated is a path that is based on the authentic Fi-Ne self that I am trying to become. The trouble now is, I don’t actually know how to validate that for myself. I’ve never had strong Fi-Ne role models to show me the way, I was only shown how to treat that part of me like a child. It is something that I must navigate, though, because trying to live up to an ideal that was never meant for me will only lead to more insecurity and failure.

    It’s time for this bird to stop living like a fish, and learn how to fly!

  • Melissa Tartaglia

    Great podcast. I just finished the excellent book “How Emotions Are Made” by Lisa Barrett, which lays out the brain’s process of emotions. You also might enjoy it.

    Keep up the good work. Take care.

    Mel T

  • Lynn

    My world has transformed since I started recognizing triggers around not getting validation (attention, respect, priority, or pretty much anything else I think I need in the moment), and asking the question, “how can I give myself what I need right now?” It takes the pressure off the other person, keeps me in a non-reactive state which feels much better, and allows me to think about whether I need to address the triggering situation in a calm and rational way at another time, or whether it was a blip that’s best left alone entirely. As an INTP I find this to be a great way of giving myself the time I need to process the trigger instead of fuelling an emotional mess. I can’t think clearly in those moments anyway. I believe that these types of triggers are ultimately the best guide we have to what inside ourselves still needs development.
    Great topic, well covered, thanks.

  • Josette

    As a dominant Fi user, if I get the feeling that I’m not being validated it’s an indication that I need to choose my battles. In my opinion it’s mostly not worth the effort to interact at that point. Because validation is not agreement. Validation indicates the person is listening to me and trying to understand me. When I don’t have that, I realize I’m involved in a zero sum game. Maybe some people want to play that game, like when they are debating and they see a benefit of their words reaching people outside the argument (i.e, a political debate) but personally I’m not in that realm often.

    What someone is feeling doesn’t have to make sense in order to validate it. It just means you are willing to listen to them and ask questions if you understand them. Even when I feel the argument will not be solved in the moment, most people will not take the time to consider you if you did not take the time to consider their perspective. I’ve noticed they are more likely to introspect and try to understand my perspective in the space after an argument if I considered (and therefore validated) them.

    If someone validates someone because they like the way they look, or the person is famous, or the person is their superior … most people can smell fake a mile away. And those that can’t will eventually realize it because validation like that is like holding sand within your open palm.

    I think self validation is important but I’ve found choosing my battles and engaging with people who I can affect, and they can affect me, leads to growth – not just growth of an idea but more importantly growth with our relationship, trust and connection with one another.

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