Invalidating feelings

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In fact, if there is a communication breakdown, if there is a wall between you and someone else, it probably has been built with the bricks of When we validate someone, we allow them to safely share their feelings and thoughts. By validating someone we demonstrate that we care and that their feelings matter to us-- in other words, that they matter to us.

We are reassuring them that it is okay to have the feelings they have. By "mirroring" someone's feelings, we show them that we are in tune with them.

One of the most important emotional skills is the skill of validation. Whether it is or ever will be part of the academic or corporate measures of emotional intelligence, I really don't know. But once most people start, and feel safe and validated, they will continue.

But I do know that if you want to have better relationships with people, the skill of emotional validation is extremely useful. Validation allows a person to release their feelings in a healthy, safe and supportive way. Thus it builds bonds of caring, support, acceptance, understanding and trust.

She labeled parts of it “highly confusing,” she argued that I was taking her words out of context, and she stated that my motivation was to confuse her readers.

However, by putting my name on her website she generated a significant amount of attention for my essay, because within hours a horde of people googled my name, found the essay, and read it for themselves.

However, having a sense of how they see the world will help you choose how to phrase your feedback in the most effective way.

It’s like you are on a date with the admissions reader and you want to be asked out again.

Broadly speaking, it's the ability to put yourself in another person's shoes.

More specifically, people use the term in a variety of ways, and they can be broken down to two subtypes, emotional and cognitive empathy: Being empathetic doesn't mean you have to become a people pleaser, always mold your actions around what others want, and only tell everyone what you think they want to hear.

We help them feel heard, acknowledged, understood and accepted. It was obvious by his face that he was scared and I wanted to share, understand, and validate his feeling.

Sometimes validation entails listening, sometimes it is a nod or a sign of agreement or understanding, sometimes it can be a hug or a gentle touch. But after I asked if he were a little bit scared and before he had a chance to answere the other social worker interupted us and in a scolding tone of voice told him there was nothing to be afraid of! When someone is experiencing a strong feeling, sometimes we "try to help" by telling her or him "it's not so bad." This attempt to minimize the negative experience -- to save someone from the struggle, actually undermines the effort to help.

We are demonstrating that we will still accept them after they have shared their feelings. How strongly are you feeling that (on a scale of 0-10)? We feel connected with them and they feel connected with us.

We let them know that we respect their perception of things at that moment. Just the other day we took a small boy to the doctor's office and I asked him if he was a little bit scared.

Your ability to emotionally and cognitively empathize with people can be improved.

No one gets to the point of being a flawless mind reader, but even being moderately better at figuring out what others are thinking and feeling makes a big difference. At first it can feel difficult, distracting, and mentally tiring to socialize while also trying to think about other people's perspectives, but in time you'll get the hang of it and it will become more automatic.

What empathy does is give you useful information that you can use to act on or not.

If you're talking to a classmate and know that if you bring up Subject A she'll be neutral, and if you bring up Subject B she'll get mildly annoyed, that's better than stumbling into the situation blindly.

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