Not only do I seek reassurance that I was a good partner in a relationship, but I strive for that same validation in the workplace.
The thing with breakups is that you never really know what the other person thinks of you. They might be nice and are holding their tongue because they don't want to start a fight or stoop to a low level; they might be lying when they say the loved you and will miss you. Sometimes not saying anything is worse than not knowing. I can't be the only person who wonders if any of my past men ever think about me. We can go back as far as high school...but let's just stick to my 9 men for now. There are 2 I never think about, unless I am counting my number. There are two, well, three now that I will think about often enough - the same three that I tend to compare new people to. and that leaves 4 that I hear from on occasion/somewhat regularly and are polite and nice to, but that is about it. But regardless of the depth of those relationships...I still wonder what these people thought of me. Do they think of me? Do they miss me? its not because I think it would make any difference but because I strive to reach my own level of satisfaction. And I want to continue to do well or better in future relationships.
Those same thoughts that I have about the past men, I have about work. When I was at the interview with my current job, the HR lady said "...who ever fills this position has huge shoes to fill." I was a little annoyed with this statement. Don't you think the person replacing me at my job as huge shoes to fill? I do. At least I thought so, but my opinion doesn't matter. I was not trying to be conceited but I did my job very well, I was never perfect, I made mistakes, but I gave it 150%. But was I good? Would I be missed? How does one know this? After I was offered the job and gave my notice, I had teary goodbyes with some of my clients always promising to keep in touch. And for a while I would send an email here or there checking in - and I saw a few when they were in town, but was that because we had decent professional relationships or because they valued me? As it turns out, my sister works for the same company I worked for...so in this particular situation, I do have feedback. While it's been over a year, she did tell me that people still talk about me or refer to the way I did things as a a baseline for acceptance the way I juggled so much work, the level of service I gave to my clients and the fact that I continued to work after the SI breakup (I only took one day off) and there were times I had teary eyes at work - I was still there and dedicated and still worked my butt off...and this came up because some fairly new girl wasn't showing up for work and speculation was that maybe she was depressed from a relationship. I was touched. I mean, I knew I was good at my job but I was thrilled to hear other people appreciated me and missed me. I was happy to hear that my department isn't doing well and they have issues...they might not have appreciated me when I was there, so maybe it took me leaving for them to value the work I did.
Validation and appreciation is so important. I think it helps us grow, because when we receive this positive feedback, we continue to strive to maintain that or exceed it to keep the people happy. I don't know about you, but I want to be the best I can be, and I am willing to put the effort in for the self improvement.