People who are constantly seeking validation usually display these 7 subtle behaviors in friendships

It’s interesting to observe the subtle dynamics in friendships. Ever noticed certain friends who always seem to be in search of approval? These are usually the ones constantly seeking validation, and their behavior can be a little more nuanced than you might think.

In this article, we’re going to explore some subtle behaviors often displayed by folks who are on a constant quest for validation. It’s not about passing judgment, it’s about understanding and compassion.

This isn’t just an armchair analysis, either. As a relationship expert, I’ve seen these patterns play out time and again. And trust me, recognizing them can be key to maintaining healthy relationships.

1) Constant agreement

A fascinating aspect of friendships often overlooked is how individuals navigate disagreements.

It’s normal to have varying opinions, right? Yet, some folks find it hard to voice their differing views. They’re the ones seeking validation.

This behavior is subtle and can easily be mistaken for just an agreeable personality. But watch closely, and you’ll see it’s more about the need for approval than being genuinely agreeable.

They’re often the ‘yes’ people in your circle—always concurring, rarely challenging or offering a different viewpoint. This agreement isn’t necessarily because they share the same perspective, but more about avoiding potential conflict.

2) Seemingly indifferent

Here’s a rule that might seem contrary at first glance. Individuals seeking validation aren’t always the most vocal or attention-seeking in the room. Sometimes, they may appear indifferent or aloof.

This indifference is often a defense mechanism, a way to protect themselves from potential criticism or rejection. It’s like an invisible armor—by appearing uninterested, they hope to avoid putting themselves in a vulnerable position where they might face judgment.

The irony is that this aloofness often stems from a deep need for approval and acceptance. So if you notice a friend who consistently appears indifferent, especially during moments of shared enthusiasm or excitement, it might be a subtle sign of their need for validation.

Remember, understanding these behaviors is not about labeling people but about fostering healthier and more empathetic friendships.

3) Overly self-deprecating humor

Humor is a wonderful tool that brings people together. But when it’s consistently at one’s own expense, it could be a subtle sign of seeking validation.

Some friends always seem to be the butt of their own jokes. It might appear as if they’re just really good at laughing at themselves, and sometimes, that’s all it is. But frequently, this self-deprecating humor is a way to seek reassurance and validation from others.

As I’ve explored in my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, this behavior often stems from an underlying struggle with self-esteem and codependency. They make themselves the punchline, hoping others will counter their remarks with compliments or reassurances.

4) Excessive apologies

Apologies are important. They mend mistakes and smooth over misunderstandings. But when ‘I’m sorry’ becomes a regular part of someone’s vocabulary, even in situations where they’re not at fault, it might be a subtle sign of their need for validation.

These people often feel the need to apologize for everything, from expressing an opinion to simply existing in a space. This excessive apologizing comes from a place of wanting to avoid conflict or disapproval.

As Eleanor Roosevelt wisely said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Sometimes, individuals seeking validation may need gentle reminders that they don’t need to apologize for taking up space or having opinions.

I’ve seen this pattern in many relationships over the years, and it’s always a reminder of the importance of helping our friends feel valued and accepted just as they are.

5) Oversharing personal details

Oversharing personal details People who are constantly seeking validation usually display these 7 subtle behaviors in friendships

Friendships are built on sharing and trust. But there’s a subtle difference between normal sharing and oversharing, especially when it happens too quickly.

Some people tend to share intimate details about their lives almost immediately. This behavior might come off as them being open and authentic, but it’s often a sign of their need for validation. They hope that by sharing personal details, they can quickly forge a deep connection and gain acceptance.

As someone who’s worked with relationships for years, I’ve found that strong bonds are built over time, not through an immediate deluge of personal information. If you find a friend constantly oversharing, it may be their way of seeking validation.

6) High sensitivity to criticism

It’s natural to feel stung by criticism. But for those constantly seeking validation, even the slightest negative feedback can be deeply wounding.

These individuals often appear overly sensitive to criticism, taking it personally even when it’s constructive or well-intentioned. This sensitivity stems from their need for constant approval and fear of rejection.

As Carl Jung insightfully said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Recognizing this trait in a friend can help you approach them with more empathy and patience, which could make all the difference.

If you’re finding these insights helpful and want to learn more about nurturing healthy relationships, do follow me on Facebook. I regularly share my latest articles there, and I’d love to keep the conversation going with you.

7) Constant need for reassurance

This is perhaps the most gut-wrenching sign of someone seeking validation: an incessant need for reassurance.

You might find these individuals continuously questioning their worth, doubting whether they’re loved, or seeking affirmation for every little decision. This constant need for reassurance can be exhausting for them and those around them.

As friends, it’s important to remind these individuals of their worth, but also encourage them to seek professional help if this behavior becomes overwhelming.

Sure, being raw and honest about these behaviors isn’t easy, but it’s essential in understanding and supporting our friends who may be struggling with a constant need for validation.

A Deeper Connection

In our exploration of the subtle behaviors of friends constantly seeking validation, we’ve uncovered some deeply human tendencies. It’s a journey that leads us to understand our friends better, but also ourselves. After all, who hasn’t sought validation at one time or another?

These behaviors are not labels or faults. They’re signposts, pointing to a deeper need for acceptance and love. Recognizing them helps us navigate our friendships with greater insight and compassion.

Remember, your friendship could be the safe harbor someone needs as they navigate their personal storm of validation seeking.

As we wrap up, I’d like to recommend a video that offers further insight into this topic. Justin Brown, in his deeply personal exploration of committing to being single, captures the heart of what it means to seek validation from within.

YouTube video

His reflections resonate with our discussion, offering a unique perspective on the importance of self-validation. I believe watching it will enrich your understanding further.

Remember, in all our interactions and friendships, let’s aim for understanding and empathy. After all, we’re all just walking each other home.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.