Social Question

smilingheart1's avatar

Do you need affirmations for your achievements?

Asked by smilingheart1 (6431points) October 19th, 2011

To me part of the fun and principle of Fluther is celebrating milestones whether small incremental ones or larger ones. It is the comraderie etc. that adds to your joy and sense of accomplishment and community.

Having said that, in your personal life, do your achievements and victories ring a little hollow if you don’t feel properly acknowledged by your special people? Acknowledgement to me means as little as “mention” – sometimes that is not forthcoming.

I know that healthy people do not “need” acknowledgement but is it not true that part of the richness of life is feeling celebrated over accomplishments by others?

Examples of what I am talking about are improvements in any area of self care or feeling great about a newly spiffed up decor or paying off a vehicle, a new certification ——whatever it may be.

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16 Answers

janbb's avatar

Yes unfortunately.

Coloma's avatar

One must learn to not “need” external approval or validation.
It is nice, but, if you allow yourself to be emotionally controlled by others accolades or lack of, you are setting yourself for disappointment.

Sharing for fun and joy is one thing, but, sharing for ego strokes is entirely another.

Gotta keep the narcissism in check. ;-)

Blackberry's avatar

No, I don’t like the attention, and I feel some achievements aren’t worth mentioning. I only want the result, not the admiration.

marinelife's avatar

I like to get affirmation.

smilingheart1's avatar

@Blackberry, admiration is not the intent at all. Have you ever watched young children, they all, whether from poorly parented environments or well supported environments say things like “look at me dad, look at me mom, see what I can do.” It is intrinsic to the human being, I believe as social creatures to need to be part of things. To be seen as a capable individual who contributes. I think this is a little along the lines of what @Jude posed a questioned on the other day which was so well answered by @CaptainHarley.

I feel that in healthy, non preoccupied environments, although maybe idyllic, a part of genuine love and caring mutual affirmations should be a great joy in life.

Can we get some discussion and input on this?

Coloma's avatar


I agree, if one is healthy they freely offer praise and compliments, infact, I have observed that it is those with low self esteem that not only NEED lots of kudos, but are also the most withholding of complimenting others.

I love to give compliments and support and, again, it feels good to receive them, but, as always, there are healthy and less healthy motives. My generosity in being able to give compliments comes from my own good emotional health and confidence in who I am.
I believe there is more than enough to go around and have never been prone to petty envies and jealousies.

However, once ones natural enjoyment of being acknowledged for, whatever, becomes a “need” and their self esteem and feelings or worth/identity are contingent on a steady, outside stream of ego propping, you are crossing into dangerous territory.

One must be able to affirm themselves and not be dependent on constant feedback to feel okay about their accomplishments or sense of well being.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes, I think so. I know for sure I really really like it, especially so from the people closest to me.

Blackberry's avatar

@smilingheart1 Definitely. It depends on the situation of course. I didn’t mean to say no one should celebrate anything, but I guess it did come off like that.

tedibear's avatar

I am a sucker for a thank you note, for acknowledgement in an appropriate way and for deserved compliments. I do not like fake praise and excessive or over-the-top compliments. I like to hear that something I did was welcomed, brought happiness, made someone feel good, helped someone or gave someone a boost.

@Blackberry – You sound much like my husband. He feels that only major accomplishments (like long, difficult work projects) should be acknowledged. He doesn’t like to have attention directed on him. He also feels that most praise and compliments are fake and phony.

wundayatta's avatar

I never got any memorable acknowledgement from the people who borned me and perhaps because of that, the acknowledgement that others gave me seemed hollow, perhaps even fake. For much of my life, I believed people praised me just to be nice, not because they meant it.

As a result I came to dislike praise. I didn’t like people being fake. There’s no need to mollify me. I came to believe I was doing things for myself; not because I wanted any praise or appreciation. There was no point in seeking praise because it was meaningless. No one ever meant it. They were just using it as a way to get you to do something in a Pavlovian or Skinnerian kind of way.

I figure that if people like anything I do, that’s their problem. Do I like lurve? Of course. But I’d like to think I’d do this whether or not I get any lurve. I do go through periods of time when there is hardly any lurve and I just keep on going. In the end, though, I know what I like and I know what I believe and I am happy to discuss it with people who are willing to discuss it with respect. I am no longer willing to change anything just because it is unpopular. If there’s a good reason to change, then I will. But appreciation or popularity, while nice, only sway me a little bit.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Lol, not for fluther achievements. Life achievements, yes.

Berserker's avatar

No, not unless said acknowledgment might benefit me somehow. Like, working hard and getting a raise. I can’t think of anything else…but I sure do love getting trophies when playing games in the PlayStation 3. That’s more like drugs though. XD

SuperMouse's avatar

For me it depends. When I have worked really hard to achieve something specifically for myself the achievement is plenty for me. An example is my black belt. I did that 100% for me and when I got it all I needed was the belt, no accolades necessary. On the other hand, if I am working hard at something as a member of a team, or in an attempt to help someone who means a lot to me or improve a relationship, then I need the affirmation and appreciation of a job well done.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t know if I need it, but I sure do appreciate it. It feels good! It can instantly bring a lift to my spirits, especially if I’m not expecting it.

We should all go out of our way to remember that feeling, and to pass it along, I think.

janbb's avatar

Great comment Auggie!

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