We all want stronger, happier and more authentic relationships. It is important when dealing with our children, our spouse, our friends, our co-workers and even people we don’t know that well.
The greatest relationship tool of all time is validation!!!
Validation is one way that we communicate acceptance of others. Validation doesn’t mean agreeing or approving. When your best friend or a family member makes a decision that you really don’t think is
wise, validation is a way of supporting them and strengthening the relationship while maintaining a different opinion.
Validation is the recognition and acceptance of another person’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and behaviors as understandable.
How To Validate
1) Be Present. There are so many ways to be present. Holding someone’s hand when they are having a painful medical treatment, listening with your whole mind and doing nothing but listening to a child describe their day in school, and going to a friend’s house at midnight to sit with her while she cries because her marriage is in crisis are all examples of validation. Being present means giving all your attention to the person you are validating.
2) Accurate Reflection. Accurate reflection means you summarize what you have heard from someone else. When done in an authentic manner, with the intent of truly
However we also don’t want to invalidate others
1) Judging: “You are so overreacting,” and “That is a ridiculous thought,” are examples of invalidation by judging. Ridicule is a particularly damaging: “Here we go again, cry over nothing, you are way too sensitive.”
2) Denying: “You are not angry, I know how you act when you’re angry,” and “You have eaten so much, I know you aren’t hungry,” invalidate the other person by saying they don’t feel what they are saying they feel.
3) Minimizing: “Don’t worry, it’s nothing, and you’re just going to keep yourself awake tonight over nothing” is just one example of white washing another person’s feelings.
Then there is also nonverbal invalidation
Nonverbal invalidation is powerful and includes:
Rolling of the eyes and drumming of fingers in an impatient way.
Checking a watch while you are talking with them,
Showing up at an important event but only paying attention to your smart phone.
Validating is a very powerful relationship tool. It’s about accepting someone else’s internal experience as valid and understandable. Who do you need to validate today?
If you or anyone you know wants to to get back on track to a Happy Self, A Happy Marriage, A Happy Home, A Happy Workplace or a Happy Life, please reach out!!
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