Hi, I'm so grateful for this platform. I'm really struggling with codependency issues, where I feel like I'm so dependent on my friends especially. I'm always seeking their approval and I always need to be validated every now and then. I get anxious and worried if a day goes by and none of my close friends have texted or called me. I feel abandoned and I get lonely at times. I don't even enjoy my own company because I feel like I always need to have someone with me. I'm so like deeply attached to my close friends and I feel like that's so unhealthy since I'm putting a lot of expectations on them and sometimes they I get disappointed and I find myself crying on most days and it even gets to a point where I have chest tightness. Is there anything I can do to work on this and resolve it because it is really weighing down on my mental health.

  Published  16th Oct 2020 at 8:35 am
Inuka Wellness ExpertInuka Wellness Kenya
Hello good afternoon,thank you for sharing your story with us and also for being our supporter.
I can imagine how hard it is for you to go through life depending on other people's validation. Am asking myself if you feel like you are not good enough or are generally afraid of failing. Would you like to have someone walk with you,help you recognize your potential? If so please go to play store download app inuka wellness, do a well being test and book yourself a session,all this for free. We have experts waiting anytime, anywhere. Use voucher code Bonga 2020.
In the meantime, whenever you feel nervous, you can try some calm breathing techniques, take a deep breath in and then out with the same speed. You can count if that would help.
Again thank you.
  Published  16th Oct 2020 at 1:22 pm

Let me affirm you for sharing your experience. You are experiencing distress because you feel dependent on your friends' approval and validation without which you get anxious and worried. ''Codependency" is a term used to describe a relationship in which, by being caring, highly functional, and helpful, one person is said to support, perpetuate, or “enable” another one’s irresponsible or destructive behavior.  You are not experiencing codependency but you are struggling with external locus of evaluation. Locus of evaluation is that place we go to for judgements and evaluation. It can be internal, in which a person trusts their own instincts, or external, whereby there is dependence on the judgement of others for appraisal of oneself, generally regarded as less healthy. Maybe you can reflect on how it came to be that you now find yourself this reliant on the opinions of others. What kind of a childhood did you have? Were you affirmed by the authority figures around you. How much do you value yourself?

It is reasonable for anyone to want their ideas, choices, achievements, or opinions validated by those around them. Validation is part of being interdependent and relying on the feedback and encouragement of others around us. Even independent people still need validation in some aspects of their life. Self-validation is the ability to recognize and acknowledge your own internal experience. It is not about agreeing with someone or accepting their thoughts as your own; it is about being able to accept these thoughts and experiences as being valid. The problem occurs  when self-validation is not possible or is not valued. In other words, if you put the opinion, approval, or recognition of others over your own feelings, you will need that external validation on an ongoing basis.

Learning to recognize when you are seeking validation from external sources is the first step so let me affirm you for doing that. By acknowledging this behavior, you can choose a more effective option, breaking the cycle and learning to look internally for validation. Let me encourage you to try and be mindful. Look carefully at what you are doing. Look for improvements and make a record of these either as a mental note or in a journal. These are self-validations that help you build up your acknowledgment of your own abilities, talents, and skills.  

Try not to ask for validation. If you do receive validation (encouragement or acknowledgment) recognize the praise and acknowledge it, then stop. Do not continue to ask others or seek out others for validation. If they do not validate you, tell yourself it's okay and celebrate your achievements. Your achievements are not reduced when others fail to validate you. Should you feel disappointed, that's ok. Just don't dwell on the disappointment. Validation is not a bad thing in life .It is affirming and positive. It only becomes problematic when it becomes the focus of all you do. Find ways to occupy yourself and keep busy so that when your friends don't call, you were busy. And when you get lonely, call someone.

  Published  16th Oct 2020 at 3:41 pm