There is a saying that says, “The greatest gift you can give someone is to give of your time”.
Oprah Winfrey once said the only thing we actually want in life is VALIDATION.
In psychology they refer to compensatory behaviour.
In relationship therapy they say we need to find someone that share the same values.
In Games people play, they talk about “Strokes” and what we do to get strokes.
Achievement and success at some level is an expression of our need to be recognized as being worthwhile, competent and successful.
The list can go on and this is just a sample of some of the words we can use to describe what we inherently hanker to. Someone and something to be attentive to us and show interest in who and what we are.
A lot of relationships fail when one partner shows interest and at some level stops showing interest because sustaining the strokes to show interest becomes too energy sapping. Long term relationships seem to last when one or both partners can sustain a level of interest in the other party for a sustained period of time. Move beyond the “self” beyond interest in the self.
Showing interest is an avenue for the other person to give attention to your being, your interest. To make them or you feel recognized and valued. We form unique groups that share our interests.
We yearn for intimacy, I believe because someone is focused on you, You have all their attention and interest. What is intimacy other than an intense interest in your needs and being. In Imago therapy the key to rescuing and saving a relationship is where partners sit in a diad position knees touching, looking one another in the eyes and talking your truth to them and then they need to mirror that. It still is one of the most intimate and successful tools to improve relationships. Looking into a persons eyes, validating their existence and giving that person your full attention.
When we meet and fall in love we show interest in the other persons music, poetry and interests. We give them our attention. We make them feel worthwhile.
When relationships cool off partners lament, “He/she is not interested in me anymore”. We measure interest in the attention we get.
We measure the strength of our relationships by how interested the other person is in who and what I am. How they show their interest, how present they are. Our biology supports this. We excrete Oxycontin when we get attention, get loved get stroked. We are geared for it.
It seems as social creatures our need for validation and interest in who and what we are are the prime drivers for who and what we are and what we have become as human beings.
So we allow people into our personal space and allow them to see and explore the inner you. When they dont reciprocate the interest in what one is showing them we we either try harder or walk away.
Interest and attention are things that we want to be done voluntarily not asked for fought for and begged for. That’s where resentment comes in. When one has to start working for attention and interest and validation. Why cant they see how needy you are, if they cant,sorry they don’t there is not interest. As the movie says, They are just not that interested in you”.
Recognizing that we are inherently interest and validation seeking makes our behavior so much more explainable and understandable. It does not make us weak or needy. It makes us human.
In a hard and lonely world we want to feel recognized ,special and unique. Showing interest and validation is the only way we “get” that. The way in which we feel loved, part of and validated.
How we feel human.