Friday, May 31, 2013

The Need for Validation

In my new book, We Are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity, I say that everyone is insecure, including celebrities. After reading it a friend asked, “Is that really true? I know I’m insecure, but famous people seem so certain of themselves.”
I replied, “They just have a better act.” But not being a celebrity myself, this statement might have come across as envious or bitter. It certainly wasn’t based on personal experience.
Today I got confirmation of this proposition from none other than Oprah. In a Washington Post article about commencement speakers—Oprah is the speaker at Harvard this year—the author wrote:
In doing more than 35,000 interviews, she’s [Oprah] learned that everybody wants to be validated. Everyone she’s ever sat down with, from George W. Bush to Barack Obama to “Beyonce in all her Beyonce-ness,” has asked, in his or her own way, after the TV lights went out, “Was I OK?” [Watch Oprah's speech here, this passage is at 20:25 in.]
Insecurity is common to all of us because our personalities are an act, a role we put together as children and then play for a lifetime. On some level we’re aware that it’s an act; we fear that other people are more “real” than we are; and we’re afraid that one day the curtain will be pulled aside to reveal that there is nothing but our act.

Who are we really? None of us absolutely know who, what, where, when, or why we are. No wonder we are all in need of validation.

Oprah continued, "The common denominator is we all want to be validated, we all want to be understood...We all want to know, 'Did you hear me?' "Do you see me?'" She finished her speech with, "Was that okay?" 

1 comment:

  1. So true! And I think that when someone witnesses us without the need to change, fix or judge us that this can be validation enough.