Melissa Freeman, Flickr

What is Social Validation?

How to better socially validate yourself.

Establishing social validation is the thoughtful effort of shaping perception aimed at producing a ratifying response.

You may not realize this but social validation is something you experience every time you encounter someone new.

The difference between keeping a stranger engaged for a minute or a wholly conversation is marginal. The sad truth is most often we aren’t afforded the time to respectfully share who we are.

Let’s explore some characteristics that can better socially validate you.

“The Wheres”

There are “the wheres” such as: where are you from, where do you live, where do you work, where did you go to school. All these could socially validate you depending on how fascinating the other person finds your answers to be. Next time you meet someone you’re not familiar with, think about “the wheres” and how they influence the initial conversation because you can connect socially and culturally in that way.


If your “wheres” aren’t as fascinating as say someone like James Bond, you don’t have to sweat it because there are many other ways to achieve socially validation. A great place to start is being knowledgable about things other than yourself. You can always ask or say something relevant or interesting that immediately connects and engages with the other person. The more knowledge you possess the more seamless it can be to nourish a thoughtful string of conversation.

Visual Communication

Yes, your appearance can totally socially validate you. Have you ever worn a nicely tailored suit or stunning gown that entitled you to an extra bit of social prowess? That’s because your personal style visually communicates to onlookers without ever saying a word. There’s just something appreciative about someone that goes through the effort of sweating the details. Onlookers come to recognize this as “visual put-togetherness” and presume that you are like that in all aspects.

A Spot

A place, location or exclusive gathering can also socially validate you. For example, if you’re a hipster and go to a hipster bar, social validation is a whole lot easier (it then falls on your knowledge of hipster things). If you attend an exclusive event or private gathering, the very sense of curation and exclusivity can eliminate social barriers that people often encounter at public places.

“Who do you know?”

Having mutual friends or acquaintances is a great way to achieve social validation. If you’ve ever seen an episode of HBO’s Entourage, surely you’ve noticed how much social validation people are afforded by having an influential or mutual friendship.


How you interact and treat other people has a remarkable effect on people’s perception of you. If someone notices your charm and charisma from across the room. Chances are by the time you get to introduce yourself, you will already be socially validated as a lively and charming person.

We all have a unique story and communicating that to someone when you have a short amount of time can be a daunting task. Now let’s rethink our approach and achieve social validation a step faster, so we can move on to focus on what matters most.