'High five' photo (c) 2010, Kent Wang - license:

I have a confession: I am a “Like” whore.

Whether we admit it or not, nearly all of us want to be validated in various ways. It makes us feel better about ourselves to know that someone else appreciates our efforts, agrees with our opinions, or thinks we’re funny / hot / smart / interesting / extraordinarily tidy. I certainly do. Some people sit quietly and hope others take the initiative to validate them. They want to be appreciated and liked, but they don’t want to seek it out. Others actively pursue validation, perhaps by fishing for compliments (“Do you think I’m fat?”), constantly joking around to make people laugh (“Shut up, Beavis!”), or flaunting their accomplishments (“That’s what we always did when I was at Haaahvard”).

I run a blog and post stuff on Facebook. Yeah, validation isn’t the only reason or even the main reason I do those things, but it’s certainly one. I love getting “Likes” on FB. Sometimes I post links or statuses with broad appeal largely because I know they are likely to get “Liked”. (don’t hate – you probably do it, too!) It’s a nice little boost to the old ego every time one of those comes in, like a thimbleful of Five-Hour Energy for my self-esteem. For the same reason, I try to Like my friends’ posts where appropriate. I love getting comments on here that tell me people actually read what I post, even if they disagree. It takes effort and time to respond instead of simply reading my post and moving on, and I appreciate the gesture.

Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Maybe I’m greedy, but two months is a long time. And even though I’m a very independent person with a pretty solid sense of self-worth, it’s always nice to get positive feedback from other people. It helps make up for all the mistakes I make, the times when I’m reminded of my flaws, and the times I’m tempted to compare myself to others.

Want an easy way to make my day? Click the “Like” button on your right and follow me on Facebook. =)

Do you consciously or semi-consciously seek validation? From whom? Does it usually work? What kind of validation is best for you?