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How do we stop seeking validation from others and get it from ourselves?

Do young men, just like young women, struggle with codependency as well?

What happens if we keep putting the needs of others above our own into our young adulthood? (HINT: a quarter-life crisis!)

Listen in to hear me walk through an aspect of ND’s life where he’s being a little codependummy and needed help on how to act like a codependiamond: SELF-VALIDATION. “How do I provide validation to myself rather than keep seeking it from others (and ruining the relationship in the process)?”

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More deets on this week’s episode:

We start with getting to know ND and how he heard about the show. “My therapist is a big fan of your podcast and she referred it to me.” ND admits that he has been listening to the podcast pretty much everyday which led to him reaching out to Marissa.

Next, we hear some ways he was raised, reinforced, or rewarded to put the needs of others above his own. “With my childhood.” ND reveals with us how his family set a high bar for him academically and “I just wanted to make them happy.” He recalls how he pleased his parents, teachers, and fellow classmates by getting good grades, following the rules, and even did homework for his peers! “The needing of approval to make them happy” was pervasive in his life and led him to stress eat.

ND discloses how he turned to food and excessive television to make him feel good. “I didn’t have the worst childhood but it was still tough at time. And it’s effected me a lot more than I thought.” He describes being called “fat” by people he loved, people he looked up to, people he respected and felt very poorly about himself due to not feeling “good enough.” Marissa highlights the vicious cycle where ND was not feeling like he was good enough, how he ate to cope with that “not-enough-ness,” and then how he was teased which REALLY made him feel like he wasn’t enough. “My happiness was so contingent on others being happy with me.”

How’s that turned out? ND shares how he was exhausted, exasperated, and enveloped in shit relationships at the ripe-old age of 26! ND describes how he pursed a career he was not passionate about, how he stayed in toxic work environments where he was being bullied, and how he was in unhealthy relationships where he was too dependent on his partner to make him happy. “I kept doing all the things because I felt the pressure from everyone else that I should do what they wanted…it made me so unhappy.”

Marissa highlights ND’s anthem “I will be unhappy so others will be happy…so maybe, I’ll eventually be happy too.” ND reflects on his new slogan: Two halves make a whole and he’s focused on being a whole half.

Next, we tackle MB’s codependummy dilemma: “I want to talk about my personal relationships and love.” ND admits how codependent he was in his previous relationship and how “I’ve never been THAT codependent before in my life.” So, what’s the dilemma? ND shares how he was unable to provide himself with validation and sought it from her…to the relationship’s detriment. She tried to create boundaries with time and he kept wanting, needing, and pining to be around her.

“Do I keep seeking validation from her or try to validate myself?” ND admits how he started to try to do things on his own: exercise, spending time with friends, and other forms of self-care “but then I would think of her! I’d want to invite her or have her with me.” When he tried things on his own, he started to miss her. “Everyday I looked forward to our nightly call right before bed.” Aha!

Marissa asks ND about how he can work on self-validation by creating his own evening call with himself. “I need to tell myself I’m a good person. That I’m worth it. That I am worth being loved.” Marissa challenges ND to have his own evening call with himself since he loved that looked forward to that while with his former girlfriend. “That sounds great…that’s what I want to work on and not be codependent in my relationship.” He agrees to try it out for the next 30 days. And Marissa does too!

We conclude with ND trying a self-validation call. WOW, right? We all need to hear that daily.


Join ND and I in our 30 day self-validation challenge where you write a journal entry, create a voice memo, or leave yourself a voice message detailing your day and VALIDATING all your efforts. Document the good, the bad, and then be sure to VALIDATE YOURSELF. Be sure to email with an update at the end of your 30-day challenge!

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