Validation is not agreeing with their emotional experience, it is reassuring them that it is okay for them to feel the way they do.
If you order a product and someone calls to confirm that you received it, you might say, “Yes, I got the package.” You are only confirming that you received the package.
Emotional invalidation is when a person’s thoughts and feelings are rejected, ignored, or judged.
Invalidation is emotionally upsetting for anyone, but particularly hurtful for someone who is emotionally sensitive.
You are not confirming that the contents in the package are in good shape.
You are not confirming that the contents are what you ordered. Likewise, validation is confirming that the other person has specific feelings.
Many factors contributed to my depression—of course loneliness and lack of social support were the obvious factors—but the major contributor was that I didn’t feel understood.
It was a transition year for me, as I had left my corporate job to find more meaningful work that was aligned with my core values.
During my depression, I felt like my family members and friends did not understand me and lacked the time, patience, or skills to listen effectively. The universe has a weird way of working things out in life; things appear or show up for a reason. Though this person was a complete stranger to me, I felt connected from the very first day. ” It was this powerful listening that provided immeasurable healing.
It helps the other person feel that you care about and understand them.
Validation can be a tremendously useful skill in resolving conflicts, helping people who have problems, and strengthening relationships.
But well-intentioned people may be uncomfortable with intense emotions or believe that they are helping when they are actually invalidating. The truth is that validation is not self-acceptance, it is only an acknowledgement that an internal experience occurred.
In terms of self-invalidation, many emotionally sensitive people would agree they invalidate themselves, but would argue that they deserve it. Verbal Invalidation There are many different reasons and ways that people who care about you invalidate you. Misinterpreting What It Means to Be Close: Sometimes people think that knowing just how someone else feels without having to ask means they are emotionally close to that person.