The path of least resistance is to swim in the lies of others that validate your self-deception. We see this in the dysfunctional symbiosis of puppets who pay their time to parrot media lies, no matter how many times the same media have lied to the puppet.
This dysfunctional symbiosis exists far beyond the media-moron-industrial-complex. Another place where such lies displace is the “help industry”—psychiatry, psychology, counseling generally. There, far from rarely, aged children cocoon each other in gentle, poisonous fictions. Among these is the façade of craving only validation, while pretending an interest in information.
All helpers fear failing the friend. Failure can risk the friend’s happiness or health—even their life. If help is their business, then helpers who fail also variously risk their sense of competence, their professional reputation, and their economic livelihood, in the case of liability.
While all helpers fear failing the friend, some pathologically obsess over failure. This obsession harms when, for example, crisis-counselors refuse the rhythm of their own rest while dealing with others’ unrest—and thus twist themselves into a dulled inefficiency which their industry calls “compassion fatigue.” In matters of mere chatter, obsessive fear of failure arises when a clinician, counselor, clergyman, etc., chooses the plausible deniability of permitting the needy friend to falsely frame the need. One important example of this is when a helper stands back while a friend craves only validation but prentends to want information.
In this era of misinformation and bad boundaries, a helper can lead a long, respected, unhappy life just by steadily validating the unsteady lies of self-destructive friends who mask addiction to validation as an aim for information. Indeed, constant fragmented interconnection can seem to require the helper to be nothing but a cheerleader for the friend’s self-destruction: social media, especially online dating, tempts targets towards the “plenty of fish” myth. So helpers, far more than rarely, will find themselves faced with friends who are addicted to validation—and also addicted to the fantasy that no matter how dysfunctional they become (thus how injurious validation becomes), still, there are “plenty of [unsuspecting] fish in the sea,” and so the failing friend need not change but rather only market themselves the same, just elsewhere.
Then bad boundaries arise when the helper grudgingly recognizes their need to feel helpful—their own need for validation—and their willingness to compromise truth to scratch their itch for being helpful.
In brief, a fear of abandonment abounds among those helpers addicted to validating at the expense of helping. You—the helper reading this—may need to revolutionize your help by shedding the habit of bad-habit-validation. Maybe you’re way ahead of that. In any case, as a helper you will certainly find yourself in a position to help another helper by warning them against the bad boundaries of letting a friend frame the help as informational when the goal is only validation.