The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

The Opposite Of Validation Is Shame

I spend a great deal of time reading commentary and news on the changing trends in American culture. Our culture is obviously not static. Social expectations shift. This is to be expected within any culture. Even the most traditional cultures will change. The pace of change is increasing because of changing technology and the influences of one culture upon another culture.

There is a cultural shift that creates the social expectation to be more “progressive”, a word with so many murky connotations that it’s almost useless as an adjective and noun. I far more prefer the term “individualism”. For better and worse, our culture is moving to one that is solely focused on the actions and words of the individual, not the group. But this is in direct conflict with our basic human need to be social, to be connected.

Our need to be connected is manifested by the intense desire to be similar with others around us and accepted by those same folks. This is easily seen on the school yard with peer pressure and peer acceptance. As adults, we naturally tend to associate with others like ourselves. Those not like us are the “others”. This is wired into our DNA. I’m making no value judgements on this. It just is.

From this comes the concept of validation. This is where the individual seeks approval from the group and other individuals. In the realm of attraction and dating, this is need to be desirable to the opposite sex so that an attraction can be established. There are many means to increase one’s desirability. Men and women do things differently but the end result is the same.

There is a natural reaction when a person does not receive validation. That reaction is shame. Rejection is the feeling that is expressed publicly, it’s the shame that wraps itself around our souls and burrows into our psyches. A string of rejections is especially brutal. This is why guys are encouraged to have a thick skin and prepare for such rejections.

People drop out of dating completely without the validation of desirability. It is because of the shame they feel. Of course, it’s unlikely that any one person would admit to this shame. This is no matter, the actions of the dating drop-out say far much more. That person gave up because of the lack of validation and the subsequent feelings of shame.

Our individualistic culture is responding, badly, to the pressures of the need to be socially validated. All sorts of “acceptance” social propaganda campaigns are being pushed into our culture. The attempt is to turn political correctness into personal correctness. Our actions, or words, everything about us must be influenced and controlled but a minority of people who simply can’t get the validation they need from the group. That group is us, the average folks, the “normies”.

What is between our ears and in our DNA simply cannot be controlled by the terrible unreality of contemporary social expectations. This is made completely obvious by the millions of online dating profiles where preferences are made clear. OKCupid has brilliantly data mined their databases and communications among subscribers. Attraction preferences are made unambiguously clear with this research. Those preferences fall along our DNA-based desire to be part of a group of like-minded individuals. Why do affinity-based online dating websites even exist?

Of course there are exceptions. The study of statistics regarding human behavior yields consistent results. Think about the bell curve. It is our human nature to focus on those exceptions and so a logical fallacy surfaces. We assume the actions of a small group are reflective on what happens to the larger group. This is simply untrue. Frankly, assuming the exception is reflective of the general does extraordinary social and personal harm. Putting someone on the cover of a magazine doesn’t mean we must accept that person’s decisions. If someone wants to be validated, he/she must do that knowing how our biology works regarding validation and shame. It’s not pretty. It’s real.

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6 thoughts on “The Opposite Of Validation Is Shame

  1. Matt on said:

    After the abuse I have received at the hands of modern progressives, rage is a better description of how I feel. Decades of being abused and shamed has taken its toll. I would love to find a group that would accept me, but it is not going to happen, I will be isolated until the day I die.

  2. Pingback: The Opposite Of Validation Is Shame |

  3. I got lost. What are the conclusions to be drawn? Solutions? Outcome?

  4. Pedat Ebediyah on said:


    I agree and I’m getting more and more good with the fact that the no-bullshit zone is a solitary one.

    I’ve been shamed for loving the Lord TOO MUCH, expecting a sense of moral agency amongst my peers and family TOO MUCH, and people to handle their business and act like they have some sense TOO MUCH.

    Taking the high road just pisses people off TOO MUCH and the fact that I don’t care what they think is also just TOO MUCH.

  5. For men of your generation and mine (I’m older), rejection is horrible. They used to have to train salesmen to deal with it. Heck, it’s there in Mark 6:11: “And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them”. Today we have a different economy. There are so many people applying, to girls and recruiters, that the default answer has to be NO, and the reasons that recruiters / buyers / women say YES is some random thing about the applicant / seller / man, and it’s usually about feelings. Men in this economy can take care of the obvious hygiene factors, but if they have been around long enough, they will see people who got hired / the contract / laid despite not meeting a standard hygiene requirement. It’s not a shock that anyone gets refused, it’s a shock when they get accepted.

    The first lesson this teaches us to do is exactly to break the link between lack of success and shame. Why should you feel ashamed if it wasn’t something you omitted or committed? And why should you feel like you succeeded if it wasn’t anything you did, but some random, feelings-led, choice of the recruiter / woman?

    The second lesson is the time-honoured one of avoiding disappointment by not putting much hope in any one application / interview / date / approach. Disappointment demoralises, and we need to survive a long, long run.

    The third lesson is to re-connect validation with training and preparation. You are worthy because you prepared and put up a good interview, you trained well, you learned your lines and placings and gestures. This has been standard practice in competitive sports for the last twenty years or so: the athletes’ real work is training, interrupted by showing up at competitions to please the sponsors and keep the money flowing and gauge by competition how well the training is going. In this world, a man doesn’t approach because he thinks he’s going to get laid or meet his soulmate. He knows he isn’t. He’s approaching because he likes the Game, and maybe because if he doesn’t, he won’t be able to live with himself. It’s not about her, it’s about him. If he gets laid, or she turns out to be a decent partner, that’s an entirely un-expected bonus.

    This is the weird world of “scarce success” or “low odds campaigns”, and it’s maybe only twenty years old. The effect is that we become detached from the values implicit in what the original validation was supposed to be about. Such as making a career, finding a partner, winning competitions, even making profits, which are supposed to be the core values of our society. We can become dis-couraged, and I agree that’s sad, or we can play the Game for its own sake because we like it. And if we decide we don’t like the Game as much as we like some other stuff, or we decide the reward isn’t worth the risk and cost, we can use our time in other ways. That’s a valid decision, not an evasion.

  6. live by the sword, die by the sword. If you deal in shame and validation with others, chances are, you’re a slave to shame and validation your self. Shame and validation resilliancy doesn’t come from more dealings in shame and validation. It’s why I take issue with promoting dark triad traits and a mindset that self improvement only comes from a place of brokeness and not being good enough. It just creates a vicious circle of enslavement.

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