Free Smiles with Validation

Has anyone seen this short film, “Validation,” starring T.J. Thyne (Bones) on the magic of free parking?  I have to warn you, it’s 16 minutes, but if you don’t have time to watch it now, come back later to take a look.  It’s a cute film.

It truly is magic when you think about it, how the smallest compliment can brighten the rest of a person’s day.  It takes ten seconds to give, but the effects last for hours.  I remember one time I had just come from lunch with someone who made me feel really down about myself.  A young guy stopped me in the parking lot–granted, he was asking for money–but even after I declined with an apology, he said, “Do me a favor, stay beautiful.”

You can laugh at the cheesiness, heck, I did.  But in that moment, man how I needed to hear that.  I was smiling all the way back to my car and the drive home.

It’s easy to get hung up on one perspective of validation.  We seek it in certain areas: work, writing, family, relationships.  And when we don’t get it, we start to feel down, and that feeling bleeds into other areas of our lives.  We begin to doubt everything about ourselves.  We come to rely on validation for our self-worth.

I often think of validation as confirmation that I have it all together, or I’m perfect.  Well, that’s an illusion right there, and certainly not what validation means.  So many facets make up my person.  And when I get validation in one small part, it catches fire like a trail of gunpowder, igniting and inspiring the rest of me.

This does bring up one issue, which some of you might share–I don’t always do well at accepting compliments.   I’m not saying I don’t love them!  Seriously, hearing someone say they loved my book sends me over the moon!  I just try to hide it.  Call it embarrassment, or dislike of attention, or humility.


Check out this post by Jenny Hansen on Marcia Richards’s blog: Is it really better to give than to receive?  Maybe we need to start opening ourselves up more to receiving.  Words, acts of service, gifts–all of these are ways to communicate love and validation.  I bet you’re all great at giving it.  Now it’s your turn to receive some.  🙂

So I leave you with these: You are awesome.  You work so hard and have accomplished so much.  People may not tell you very often, but you are a solid rock in their lives, without which the wheels would come off the train.  You are beautiful.

31 comments on “Free Smiles with Validation

  1. Debra Kristi says:

    What a fantastic post Angela! I know what you mean about receiving compliments. I have a hard time accepting them as well. That short film was wonderful. Thanks for posting.

  2. Wonderful post Angela! And you are beautiful 🙂

  3. Great surprise and twist to the expected, quickly taking us into the value of a different form of validation. As long as the compliments are true and sincere, I’m all for it, but almost everyone has something upon which one can comment favorably. Great concept, and thank you!

  4. Awwww…love this post!! I try to remember to shell out the compliments and validation any time I think of it because I really do think it makes a huge difference…
    YOU rock Angela!! Woot woot!!

  5. amyshojai says:

    My husband is great about this, giving compliments for good service, etc. And I try to do the same. But like you it’s hard for me to accept compliments–I have to work really hard to just say, “thank you” without arguing/discounting it.

    By the way, I LOVE that you have the Pangur Ban poem on your page, one of my favs.

    • Amy, I totally have the same urge to downplay a compliment given to me. I hold my tongue though, because I think if I did that, it would hurt the feelings of the person complimenting me. It’s something I want to work on. 🙂

      My friend brought me back an actual poster of Pangur Ban from Ireland. I figured one for my writing space and one for my blog. 😀

  6. I love, love, love this! Not just because TJ is one of my Crushes, but because of what the message is. A kind word will go far. Maybe I’ll get better at receiving compliments someday, but for today, I’m happy spreading the love.

    Stay beautiful, Angela.

  7. Love this post. I try to live this every day. I’d far rather praise someone for doing something right than stressing them for getting it wrong. Sometimes a smile is all a person needs to brighten their day. 🙂 Smiles brightly at everybody and waves.

  8. T.F.Walsh says:

    Such an inspirational post – thanks;) Got to remind myself of this every now and then when I forget:)

  9. What a beautiful post, Angela. Thank you so much for sharing. You too are beautiful and deserve all the smiles in the world.

    I will have to come back and watch the video later…I like T.J.

  10. You are beautiful, Angela, no doubt about it. Excellent message and good advice to be open to receiving. BTW, I began reading Phoenix Feather this week and am in awe. Fine writing!

  11. Katy says:

    Right back at ya, Angela! “You are awesome. You work so hard and have accomplished so much. People may not tell you very often, but you are a solid rock in their lives, without which the wheels would come off the train. You are beautiful.”

  12. Fabio Bueno says:

    Thanks for this positive message, Angela. You’re absolutely right. We need to hear it sometimes. You are awesome too!

  13. What a beautiful and kind post, Angela. Thank you!

    I don’t have time for the video right now, but am marking it as something to come watch later today during a break.

    It is hard to receive compliments, but I think it gets easier with practice. That may sound strange, but sometimes – oftentimes – the compliment-giver really NEEDS to “give away” kind words and the way we receive their “gifts” can be a big help for them.

    I once heard someone describing receiving compliments as accepting a handmade ice cream sundaes. Appreciate the effort as much as the treat. So take those ice cream sundaes Angela!

  14. Elena Aitken says:

    Great post.
    I suck at receiving compliments. I think it’s a very hard thing, especially for women. It’s a sad statement, but true that I think we all need validation in some way, some times.
    I LOVE Bridgette’s analogy. Ice Cream sundaes! Perfect.
    Awesome video. Perfect way to start the day. Thank you.

  15. […] workshop has been a career-changing event. Kristen Lamb’s post stirred something inside me. Angela Wallace reminded me to smile. Myndi Shafer and August McLaughlin made me laugh out loud when I most needed […]

  16. Alina Sayre says:

    This is lovely, Angela 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story, and for the free validation-for-all at the end of your post 🙂

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