Can you validate me for a moment?
No matter what the words read on the screen, the request is always the same.
Tell me my gut feeling is correct.
We are every woman who has been taught to seek external validation instead of searching within. We are every woman who has stopped listening to their intuition because they have been told it is wrong. She is wrong.
Listen, there is a reason you are asking these questions and feeling these emotions. You know the answers, but since you’ve long-since been silenced, you defer to someone else.
Let us convince you of what you already know. We are every woman who’s ever answered “just a quick question” or reviewed receipts to tell her friend what she already knows.
You should leave. They are wrong. You are being gaslit.
There’s a reason you call your support network. They believe in your abilities when you self-doubt. They love you when you can’t love yourself. They validate your lived experiences.
However, sometimes the people we need aren’t around.
Sometimes we can become impatient while waiting for external validation, and this can have us intelligent women making impulsive and destructive decisions. We have all been there.
When you need reminding that those gut feelings are correct, you are correct, and you can trust your intuition, turn to this list.
These are the 30 most common pieces of validation every woman should keep in mind.
Remember, no matter what the patriarchy, your religion, your parents, your partner, or the internet says, you will always be the best person to determine what’s accurate to your story and what you want and need.
Listen to yourself. Listen to this.
1. You are not crazy.
“Crazy” is a lazy word people use when they don’t understand your behaviors or your reactions. So, no, you are not acting crazy or being crazy or driving your partner crazy. You are likely not being listened to or heard or respected. Be wary of this word and dig past its surface meaning. What is really being said? Can you find a different way to communicate?
2. You should talk to someone.
If you are even considering it, do it as soon as possible. Talking about your mental health means beginning to find the proper support. Preparing before a crisis occurs is best. This way, you can establish trusted relationships with the proper professionals for your needs and prevent future problems.
3. That was rape.
If you are unsure if what happened to you is considered rape, please read the Sexual Violence Resource Center’s “Was I Raped?” You will see that your experience is valid, and you will learn where to get help.
4. Your trauma response is not your fault.
The Women’s College Hospitals says trauma is a women’s health issue “because violence and trauma are so pervasive, all women are affected by them, either directly or indirectly,”
We are talking about being stalked, sexually abused in childhood, and becoming victims of intimate partner violence. We are talking about some women carrying all three of those things and more.
Experiencing trauma responses like emotional dysregulation and sleep disturbances are not your fault. You don’t deserve to suffer or be punished. You can get help. You are worth healing.
5. Advocating for more money does not make you greedy.
It makes you smart, and it shows you value your skills and talents and what you can add to the company. Just be sure you can back yourself up when it comes time to defend the reason why you *deserve* a raise.
6. Declining to date someone does not make you a bitch.
If you ignore how you feel to spare someone else’s feelings, what are you telling yourself? That you are less important.
This is a terrible, no-good thing to tell yourself. Any girlfriend would agree.
Leave the pity dating and broke dating and lonely dating in your 20s and keep moving forward. Do not get caught in a web you don’t want to weave.
7. You are being sexually harassed at work.
If you feel you are being sexually harassed, you are very likely being sexually harassed. How do I know this? Because I know you wouldn’t even bring it up unless it was really bothering you and beginning to affect your work morale. I know you have let things slide before. I know you would rather this not be happening and you don’t want to deal with it or talk about it at all.
8. The people who love you won’t leave when you evolve.
This means you will learn that some people do not truly love you. They love what you offer them. When you no longer fit their version of you, welcome their departure. It is in your best interest.
9. You are drinking too much.
Sorry not sorry. If you have to ask yourself this question, the answer is always yes.
Listen to yourself.
You are clearly uncomfortable with how much you are drinking. Cut back or abstain and see how you feel. Spoiler: You will feel better.
10. You should apply for that promotion or scholarship.
Applying and winning doesn’t mean accepting. You can always turn down promotions and scholarships after learning more and assessing your playing cards. Apply anyways. Apply now, think later. This is the only way you will know if you would have succeeded in your pursuit. This is the only way you will know if you’re rejecting for the right reasons.
11. You are making the right choice by leaving.
It feels like the end of the world at the end of a relationship because it is the end of that world you created. You will create another one. If you made the choice to leave, you have your reasons—review them as often as necessary. Don’t doubt yourself.
12. You have a right to say no to anything that makes you uncomfortable.
This is so hard for us women who people-please as a trauma response. In moments where we doubt our reasoning in saying no, we have to remind ourselves of what we are reinforcing each time we self-abandon. Our safety is worth more than what people think of us. If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right. Accept it and say no.
13. You should order the first meal on the menu that grabs your attention.
This is not a trivial thing.
Food is a hard one for many women. Decision-making (hence this article) is also a hard one for many women. I, too, have spent hours thinking about what to eat, what I ate, and what I will eat. I have spent more time thinking about food than experiencing its flavor. I know the struggle.
Limit your decision-making in this moment and choose the first thing that you are drawn to that you can eat and afford. Done. Seriously, never question it again. You know best.
14. His anger will eventually turn towards you.
We tell ourselves a lot of little lies about the men we put on pedestals.
We tell ourselves it is not violence because he hits countertops and walls, not us. He talks down to his ex, not us. He throws things, but not punches. He breaks canvases, not bones. Not us.
Domestic violence is a sneaky little monster with many masks. You are feeling scared and uncertain and concerned for a reason. Listen to yourself.
Things always escalate. No woman thinks she will become a victim of domestic abuse. You have a right to be scared. You are not overreacting.
15. Your children don’t benefit from seeing their parents in a toxic relationship.
You know this, though. You’ve seen bad marriages and what it’s done to the children. Maybe you were that child. You know your children are better off in households where their parents are healthy and happy. You know they will internalize the tension and stress and it will manifest if you do not take action.
You know a short-term loss is worth a long-term gain for your family.
16. You should discuss suicidal feelings with professionals.
Do not let any partner, parent, coworker, friend, or otherwise convince you that suicidal feelings are nothing to worry about or that you are overreacting or that everyone feels this way sometimes.
Suicidal feelings are not to be ignored.
Reach out to your local mental health professionals or seek support online via Suicide Stop and toll-free through text via the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number 1-800-273-8255.
17. You are not faking your illness.
Your feelings are valid, even if they do not make sense to other people.
This includes feelings of pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. You know what you are experiencing. Recognize that you do not need people’s approval to advocate for your needs or accept a diagnosis.
18. You are not overreacting. You are responding.
If someone tells you that you are overreacting, pay more attention to them than yourself. How often are they discrediting your experiences and emotions? You might want to look at the next point if you have been wondering.
19. You are being gaslit.
How many online quizzes and girlfriends and therapists need to tell us the same thing before we believe it has happened to us, too?
You are not making this up.
Gaslighting is when someone psychologically manipulates you into thinking you are “crazy.”
It sounds like: I didn’t say that, I would never promise that, I would never say that, you’re overreacting, you’re wrong, I know what is best for you, I’m just trying to do what’s best for you, your family isn’t good for you, your family doesn’t understand you, you need to trust me, you should be over it by now, you’re acting crazy, among so many other things.
This tactic is particularly effective when women are isolated and without a support network to help validate their bad vibes.
For the record, questioning if you are being gaslit is a sign of being gaslit.
20. They are going to mistreat the person in their next relationship, too.
Do not worry that someone else is cashing in on your investment. Yes, you upgraded him, but you did not change him entirely. If you did, you two would still be together. He would have turned into who you needed.
He didn’t. He still hasn’t. Move forward.
21. Chronic illness does not make you less lovable.
If someone tells you this or implies it with their actions, it is their loss. You’re better off alone than with someone who is willing to believe this. Having a chronic illness has nothing to do with your lovability.
22. Your body is your business.
Wear what you want. If not now, then when?
23. The household division of labor is still not equal.
If you are still arguing about this, it means it is still not equal. Don’t let him convince you otherwise or that you have unrealistic expectations. Relationships are about finding a happy medium that makes sense for both.
24. Being private does not make you rude or cold or distant.
You do not need to divulge more than you want to. End of. Your business is nobody’s business.
25. You can pull off a hat.
We can all pull off hats. I can confirm.
I do not feel as though I can pull off a hat, but every time I wear a hat, I am complimented on it. Seriously, every time a woman sees me in a hat, she says, “I love that hat! I wish I could wear hats.” You can. I can. It is just a hat.
26. You can do better.
It really is a mindset. Define what “better” means to you and work towards your goal. It is attainable.
27. You should take that trip.
Life is short. Money comes and goes. Travel builds character and experience and stories. Take the trip now while you want to and are able. Go for it.
28. You should cancel or postpone that wedding.
Cold feet are to be expected, but serious thoughts about not wanting to get married should be addressed before anyone walks down the aisle.
Talk to your partner, a counsellor, a religious official, or family member you trust.
29. You should book that time off.
No one ever regrets that vacation they took that one time.
You know what they do regret? Working themselves into a burnout. Ignoring their need for a break. Avoiding rest.
30. You know what is best for you.