“It is entirely possible that behind the perception of our senses, worlds are hidden of which we are unaware.” – Albert Einstein
Daily Nugget of Gold 1777
When Validation is a Negative
Not long ago we posted a moving short video about validation therapy. This topic today has almost nothing to do with that, and we wanted to say that up front to avoid any confusion. We’re speaking today on the practice most of us have of coming to a conclusion about something and then we seek validation of that opinion from our physical reality. None of us, it seems, enjoys being wrong.
We wish we could remember who said this, but we remember hearing something like, “When we come to a conclusion, we’ve actually made a decision to stop thinking about it”. That’s an interesting point. Most of us would like to think of ourselves as open minded, but the idea that we come to a conscious decision to close our minds is a little scary, don’t you think?
Many folks at this point may think that they’d consider new input, even if it disagreed with our conclusion, but in practice- most folks only look for their earlier decision to be validated. If new evidence underscores the conclusion we came to earlier, we wholeheartedly embrace it. If it contradicts our previous judgment, we tend to ignore it or seek to discredit it.
This “validation need” seems to be especially true if we have formed a negative opinion about another person. We really don’t want to be wrong, and we’ll cherry-pick our input and use whatever evidence we can find to support our suppositions and sideline all contrary input. Can you see the risks involved here?
One risk is that we might be placing barriers between us and someone who really could have a positive impact on our lives. Another is that others might see this short-sighted behavior as ignorant or petty. Even more important than that is that we miss an opportunity to grow. Some folks would rather risk being found to be dead wrong than to own up to an error in judgment. One of the real dangers here is that regarding other people, we can never, ever base our decisions on the whole picture– because we will never be able to duplicate exactly their unique point of view, given all they’ve been through up to now.
Seeking validation for a judgment is trucking in more sand to shore up the house you built on the sand. It does nothing positive unless you are open minded enough to see that maybe building a house on the sand wasn’t the best idea you could have come up with.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“”Am I truly open minded about all things and about all people?”
Copyright 2017 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.