The black hole of validation

Sounds kinda scary huh? It sort of is. I’ve been there a couple of times. With best friends. Or people whom I thought were best friends.

Let me just say that I’m the type that doesn’t have a lot of friends. I’m not good with groups. I have one or two close friends at a time. The rest are acquaintances that I text or Facebook as needed. It’s comfortable for me.

I am very loyal to those close friends and will be there for them if they need me. I don’t hesitate to drop what I’m doing to help them if they need me. And for the most part, depending on which friend it was, they have done the same for me.(Some, however, have not.)

Which brings me to what may/may not be my flaw or mistake, or whatever you want to call it, in a friendship.( I call it my flaw because I blame myself. It’s happened twice, so it must be me.)  I do not mind complimenting people or uplifting them or supporting them. I think you’d call it validating. My thought is if I compliment someone on an achievement, what does it cost me? Is there some subtraction from my soul or being? I don’t feel that it costs me anything.

Why are people so reluctant, so resistant to complimenting or congratulating another person? Especially female friends(at least in my case)? Is it an underlying instinctive feminine competition on their part?

Now maybe this is a realization for me. But I’ve found in the last two best-friendships that I’ve had, both of which lasted around 10 years each, that as I’ve given the support, compliments etc. it didn’t cost me. As in, it doesn’t hurt me to tell someone they look nice or their artwork is beautiful. What did cost me was the lack of reciprocation.  I didn’t get any  validation back, but instead was solicited for more and more. “Isn’t my horse great? Isn’t my work fabulous? Isn’t my house gorgeous?”  Until I was giving and giving and giving with nothing in return. Until I was exhausted and had no more to give and my friend didn’t understand why I could no longer be friends with them. I wasn’t doing it for the reciprocation, didn’t even think about it and didn’t realize the deficit until much later. It dawned on me when I was on the phone week after week and all they did was talk about themselves non-stop with no interest in me or what was going on in my life.  So I ask, is this why people don’t offer a compliment or congrats because they fear the black hole of validation?


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