“I have so many dreams, but my family does not support me”
Have you felt this? Heard this? The family altar where dreams go to die.
This is common in cultures where gender roles are very strong. Women who have been homemakers their entire lives, who want to do something, but do not get family support.
What we often don’t realize is we are not looking for support, we are looking for validation.
Support Vs Validation
Support is anything that will help us move forward with whatever we have chosen to do. Or help us decide not to move forward.
It can be in form of somebody’s time, effort, advice, opinion.
Validation is looking for approval. Agreement. That we are ‘right’.
What we often don’t realize is we are not looking for support, we are looking for validation. Support is anything that will help us move forward. Validation is looking for approval. Agreement. That we are ‘right’.
The support might be in a tone we don’t like “Become a social worker???? What will you eat??” Which means “Have you thought about financial security when you make this decision?”. “You need to see a therapist”(move forward) vs “You are right in feeling depressed”(validation)
The need for validation
In many cases, we don’t even need support. For example, a female homemaker from a well-to-do family has time, children are grown up. Household chores are outsourced, there is money to experiment with ideas. She has access to knowledge.
What she might not have is approval. Her family does not agree she is doing the ‘right’ thing.
- “Why would you want to open your business?? Do you have less money???”
- “You want to start singing at 55? Are you crazy?”
Somebody has an opinion that we are ‘wrong’. We are not ‘allowed to’
But this is not a women’s problem. Or a family problem. This is a universal problem.
- “A mother has to place her children first”
- “A wife has to place her husband first”
- “You need a maid to do your job, while you go and do jobs for others!!??”
- “Why are you crying like a girl!!!”
- “A man cannot take undue risks. You are the breadwinner!”
- “A man cannot be weak. My family is counting on me!”
- “Saying I don’t want money is just an escape. One has to keep climbing the career ladder”.
- “Divorce??! What about your kids?!”
It is impossible to get everyone to agree. Even unfair! Why should everyone agree with whatever we choose?
But is possible to request for support. Without demanding validation. And nothing wrong, if people don’t.
And yet, validation is exactly what we aim for. Though it is possible(not pleasant or easy) to move forward anyway.
Have you complained about lack of family support? Were you looking for support or validation?
Saying “Move forward even if you do not have family approval” might be easier said than done 🙂 Comment and let me know if you want suggestions on how to make this easier. Subscribe to my newsletter to get the articles straight into your inbox.