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You see, the question of what you rely on to make you feel good about yourself tells you a lot about how you prioritize the importance of how others see you versus how you see yourself.

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That’s precisely the underlying issue that The Narrator is dealing with: he has no core. His life is based entirely on trying to mask that feeling with reliant on external validation.

The need for external validation is often the source of a wide variety of dating and self-esteem issues; people who rely on external validation are often incredibly needy, using the approval of others as the measure for their own self-worth.

It’s all a way of getting dose after dose of the thrill that comes from people liking us and thinking we’re cool. The thrill never lasts and inevitably leaves you feeling hollow and empty and each new dose is harder and harder to come by.

People who rely on external validation are compensating for a lack, a hole in their own lives. There’s no sense of self to maintain them, no inner core of worth.

Our desire to be liked by others is a literal survival technique – the more people like us, the less likely they are to throw us out into the cold to survive or die on our own. One of the insidious things about external validation is just it feels.

We live in a culture that’s obsessed with external validation. Social media allows us to control our public personas in ways we could before.

In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our need for esteem and belonging come right on the heels of our needs for physical safety; we instinctively want to feel love and respect.

This is our sense of validation – the feeling of approval The problem however, is those feelings come from, whether they come from internal or external sources.

(And, y’know, I love the way so many people who saw the movie about your life in general.

What does it take to make you feel good about yourself? Just let it roll around in your head for a bit while you read this article, because we’re going to be talking about the ramifications of your answer.

You see this incredibly frequently in the Pick-Up Artist community; there is an intense pressure to conform to a specific sort of man with a particular sort of values in order to raise one’s esteem within the group.

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