Validation is something that we all need as humans. When we are going through troubled times the feeling of validation from your lover, family, or friend makes all of the difference. Validation says I am here, I see you, I hear you, I understand, and what you feel is important and matters. So often in relationships we forget the importance of validation. It says I love you, I want to communicate with you, and I accept you. The importance of validation cannot be overstated. It is a critical part in any healthy relationship.
When we don’t validate the feelings and emotions of those we hold dear it can cause an adverse reaction to the other person emotionally. Weather it be intentional or unintentional denying a person their right to whatever emotions they may have can cause extreme feelings of anxiety and confusion.
Surprisingly enough we invalidate others regularly and don’t even realize it. We do it when we ignore those who reach out to us to “just talk”. We do it when some people get so emotional they can’t seem to get their thought together we dismiss them as “bad communicators”. We do it when we decide we “are just not having the conversation”. We do it when we say ” you shouldn’t feel that way” or “I am sorry you feel that way”. Or my favorite “just move on from it”.
What Can We Do To Make A Person’s Feel Validated
- We must begin to understand that validating someone’s feelings or emotions does not mean you agree, you can say your emotions are valid but that does not necessarily mean you have to like it.
- Everything is not about you! Learn to listen without being defensive. If you are the cause of the emotion take responsibility for whatever part you played be it big or small. Listen to hear and not to respond. Speak with love.
- LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN ! Listen for understanding. Do not try to tell the person how they feel.
- Be Present. Hold their hand, sit with them while they cry, send a card, let your presence be known. let the person know that you heard them and you understand their position (and while you may not agree all the time understanding goes a long way). Always be authentic and genuine. Don’t forget to act and speak with LOVE!