What does validation mean to you? Does it mean you have to agree with what someone is saying? You might be surprised, but that’s not what validation is at all! Validation is essential in creating connections. It is accepting that your partner’s reality is their reality and acknowledging that whatever they are feeling is true for them. Just because you are validating your partner does not mean that you cannot continue to have your own perspectives and experience of what is going on. When a person is sharing their feelings and emotions, that is the reality that they are experiencing, it is a subjective experience.
If a partner feels validated the feelings that are left invalidated don’t just disappear and vanish into thin air. In fact, they are intensified and the individual may feel unseen, unheard, misunderstood and as if they are not cared for. If this continues over a span of time, the individual who may feel invalidated may stop speaking their truth and will begin to give up and stop expressing themselves all together. As you can imagine this will lead to bigger problems, frustration, resentment and many other negative feelings.
Examples of validating statements :
- I see you
- I hear you
- I understand that you are feeling this way, and these feelings are valid.
- I understand you are feeling ______, how can I support you?
- You and your feelings matter
What not to say :
- It could be worse
- You shouldn’t feel that way
- I don’t think about it too much, just try to move on
- I don’t think this is worth discussing.
Try these and let us know how it went in the comments below!