I almost wrote about feeling vengeful. When someone hurts us, getting back at them may seem like a good idea. But luckily, most of the time we can talk ourselves down from those vengeful feelings and move forward. I read a lot of thrillers, so vengeful feelings are common. Vengeance is actually fairly simple to understand though. Vulnerability and validation, on the other hand…now that’s where things get complicated.
Feeling vulnerable can lead to a whole lot of strange and even dangerous behaviors. For instance, a woman gets mugged and all of sudden she can’t sleep, she can’t eat, she stops hanging out with her friends. She might install extra locks on her doors. Or she might even become incredibly angry, lashing out at the people she loves. Vulnerability can cause emotional and even physical reactions. I just read a book about a woman who’d been abducted and held captive for over a year. After being rescued, she became a vigilante. Her experiences drove her to stalk predators and, in doing so, she felt less vulnerable.
And then there’s validation. Oh the things that people will do to feel validated. Is it human nature to want to be right? To know that the things we believe are true, commonly held, supported. But when that need to feel validated is combined with fear, anger and control issues, it can become ugly. For instance, a parent chooses to listen only to advice that validates their own beliefs, reads articles that validate their choices and uses those resources to make decisions for their children. What are the implications?
Yes, there’s a reason I’m thinking about this. No, I don’t want to discuss the details. But suffice it to say that the challenges a friend is facing have me considering how far a person will go to feel validated and to avoid feeling vulnerable.
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.