“Look at me, tell me how [good] I am!”
It starts with a bit of insecurity, a little nugget of self-doubt, and leads to the unquenchable thirst for constant validation. And this occurrence is even stronger in case of validation by utter strangers. Who doesn’t love getting complimented by random people in the streets? You do. I do. Fuck, everyone does.
Also brought in by this yearning to be [positively] judged is a rush of unnecessary comparisons between peers, and, in some cases, superiors. I, for one, have always known how smarter I am than “the smartest guy in the room”, and I’ve always been comfortable with keeping that fact to myself.
In high contrast, however, one can observe how an insecure person falls over himself [girls, as I’ve noted, are much more at peace with themselves than boys] in the process of proving himself better to/on par with a secret standard known only to himself.
Even as I draft this, the bumbling adult in the front of the class (read: professor) tries to hold her impression high in the minds of the students. She’s not doing great.
Teach yourself to teach yourself. Self-validate. Self-suffice. Self-ie. Shit. Fuck off.