Do You Feel Like You Need Validation from Others?

Do You Feel Like You Need Validation from Others?

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Have you presented a gift (better yet, a handmade one) to someone you loved, but you didn’t receive the praise or validation you thought you deserved?

I tend to seek out validation from others. My hubby says I need to stop worrying about what others think. He’s right. Gulp. And I’m not the only one who struggles with this. 

A good friend shared the following story. You’ll to have to read to the end to find out what life lesson she gleaned.

I calculated the number of scrabble tiles I’d need to fit into the hand-picked frame. I double checked my calculations. Check! I glued down the last tile. After months of tedious work, I and my framed masterpiece embarked on an eight-hour journey.

Arriving at the dinner party with the gift tucked under my arm, I smiled at the friends and family showering Mom and Dad with congratulatory slaps and hugs. We’d all gathered to celebrate their sixty years of wedded bliss.

My heart swelled. I was proud that my parents managed to stay married despite their financial struggles, health scares, and of course, raising three children who caused a lot of grief. And I was definitely proud of the masterpiece I was about to present.

I handed the gift over to Mom, and a lump formed in my throat. Dad peered over her shoulder. It was like I was handing off my firstborn.

I grabbed my camera, aimed, and waited for the grand unveiling. Paper crinkled. Mom tore into the wrapping paper. Click!

As Mom’s gaze studied my handiwork, Dad didn’t even blink. Seconds turned into minutes.

At last, Mom cleared her throat. “Oh, that’s nice, dear.” She wrinkled her nose like she was staring at the paper chain I’d made in grade one. “Who showed you how to do that?”

Didn’t she think I was capable of making anything worthwhile? Was that all she could say? And Dad! He didn’t say a word!

We arrived back at their home, along with my damaged heart and the masterpiece. After my parents retreated for the night, I hung the framed piece in the living room.


My ears rang. Broken glass littered the floor. The frame cracked. At least the superglue and the excessive tape I’d used kept the tiles intact. After I cleaned up the mess, I stole away to a framing store to have it remounted.

Before I left the next day, I told Mom to pick up her masterpiece in three days.

As far as I know, my masterpiece still hangs in their living room.

Masterpiece 1

For similar gift ideas visit Pinterest Scrabble Family Trees

Despite my friend’s parents’ lack of enthusiasm, my friend recounted how happy she was that she’d presented a masterpiece made with love. She also realized the joy was in the giving and that she wasn’t responsible for how her parents reacted.

She said, “Someone else’s reaction should not be my validation. I can’t control how others react.”

How have you reacted when someone didn’t respond the way you had hoped?

Have a Blessed and Happy Easter

“Winter is past, the rain has stopped, flowers cover the earth, it’s time to sing.

Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (CEV)


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19 Responses

  1. Tracy,
    I do think it is hard to know how someone will react to receiving a handmade gift. I’ve had reactions that disappointed me whether I gave a handmade gift or one ready-made. Anyway, I don’t give many handmade gifts anymore. Since I do enjoy making them, I sometimes make something for myself. That’s a win-win. 😉

    • Hi Linda, It is hard not to be disappointed. That’s why it’s important to make a gift for the sheer love of it. And I like your solution as well…make something for yourself. 🙂

  2. Your friend learned a valuable lesson. Now gifts made or bought are given with the joy that comes with the giving. I love giving presents…..dollar store trinkets, crafts and goodies….and occasionally a treasure gift in which an accomplice is engaged in the delivery. It all makes me smile. As long as your heart is smiling, you have your validation.

    • Terrol, she sure did learn a valuable lesson as did I! Love what you said, “As long as your heart is smiling, you have your validation”. 🙂

  3. I think if we’ve worked hard at something, all of us seek validation that our efforts were appreciated. It’s just human nature. If we don’t get the outside validation, then we just have to accept our own feeling that we did something well and that we’re proud of our accomplishment.
    Sherry Ellis recently posted..Neck CrampMy Profile

    • Hi Sherry,
      Ah yes, human nature. Too bad it gets in the way at times. And as long as we try our best and our attitude is right, that’s all that counts. 🙂

  4. That’s such a great question. I love to make things and when I’m finished, I like to feel like God felt when he created each day and found it good. There is always the hope that the another person (especially one you made it for) will feel equally awed by our handiwork. I think God appreciates it when we are in awe of his. But it is true, that in the end, we can’t look for our validation or value in someone else’s opinion. And often, people react according to their insecurity which isn’t an accurate picture of us or our efforts. How secure are we? Can we be satisfied with a job well done or a creative endeavor we pursue whether someone else notices or not? I know God is pleased with everything we create. Hopefully, that is enough. Thanks for a thought provoking post, Tracy!

  5. Oh, gosh! I think we’ve all done this. I totally recognized that gut-sinking feeling, that moment when you realize that what you thought was amazing is not being received the way you hoped! But your friend is right. The value is in doing something for someone with love, with the intent of making them happy. Sometimes it IS the thought that counts 🙂
    Susanna Leonard Hill recently posted..Would You Read It Wednesday #129 – Roy G. Biv And The Amazing Castle Moat (PB)My Profile

  6. Nice post! I’m guilty as well, wanting validation from others instead of realizing my validation is from God. The verse from Song of Solomon is beautiful. I looked it up in my Bible, too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Tina, glad to hear I’m not the only one. Thank you for letting me know you appreciated the added verse. I don’t know what I’d do without my trusty manual. 🙂

  7. I once made a special pillow for my parents. I’d taken their engagement picture and the image transferred to to a piece of fine linen. Then I hand quilted a wide border of pieces of cloth taken from our favorite outfits growing up. It took me several months working evenings to get it just right. When I gave it to them, they didn’t say much–general “How lovely,” “What a thoughtful gift,” etc.
    It wasn’t until I was moving them out of the house to their asst. living apt. two years later that I learned this was the pillow my dad had to hold when his Alzheimer’s began. It was the only thing that gave him comfort. On the day I had given it to my parents, they were quiet because he was trying not to cry.
    We create and give out of love. Sometimes we don’t realize how much the gift was actually cherished and loved until much later.
    Marylin Warner recently posted..WHEN TO PLANT…AND WHEN TO WRITE FOR A CONTESTMy Profile

  8. Tracy…hope you are doing well…I have been in Portugal for 31/2 months so just catching up on some reading…Love this post and I think we can all relate to it…Keep writing and giving…xo…