Feeling Stuck: Validating Their Experience

Remember those banana peels I told you about?

Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But here’s the thing I’ve learned over the past 15 years working with couples: we argue over these “silly” things – the socks, the dishes, the banana peels.

Underneath this, there is a core need and longing that is often not being discussed. We all long to be seen, to feel important to the ones we love, to feel like what you have to say matters to the other person.

Sidenote: Do you know the relationship cycle you get stuck in?
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Emotional validation is one of the top skills I teach my clients and members in my online program, Be Connected. Validation helps to bring closeness and understanding, and creates a sense of calm when one feels heard and understood.

Unfortunately, many of us get stuck in INVALIDATION. Oftentimes, it’s not malicious that someone is invalidating you. I caution you to avoid jumping to the term “gaslighting” as sometimes people don’t know what it means to validate.

For many, we get stuck in:
Problem Solving: “you should…” or “did you try…”
Minimizing: “it’s not that bad”
Denying: “you shouldn’t feel that way”
Avoiding: “you just need to focus on the good”

These responses do not bring our partners closer to us and instead invalidates them.

So what exactly is validation?

Validation is clearly communicating to others that you are paying attention to them, that you understand them and that you are non judgemental. Validation demonstrates a space of empathy for the other person, and a willingness to sit in someone else’s feelings. It is being able to see the facts or truth of the other person’s situation.

Validation does not mean that the other person is right and you are wrong. It simply means you are seeing and accepting their emotions or experiences. You are simply allowing yourself to witness and be curious about what your partner is saying to you.

Without validation, moving forward in conversation and stuck points in our relationships is incredibly difficult.

Validation can look like:
“Tell me how you are feeling.”
“What do you need?”
“It’s okay to feel this.”
“This feels really heavy and difficult for you.”
“I see that you are upset.”
“Tell me more about this.”
“Can you help me understand your feelings more?”
“I see you’re really struggling. How can I help?”

Feeling disconnected and unsure how to move forward? Longing to feel close with your partner like you did in the early days of your relationship? Or maybe you are ready to strengthen your relationship. I help women who feel disconnected and overwhelmed learn how to communicate their needs and feelings, let go of resentment, and improve their intimacy in my online program called Be Connected. One of my favourite lessons in Be Connected is the emotional validation lesson. It breaks down a script step-by-step so you and your partner can practice this. LEARN MORE ABOUT BE CONNECTED

Interested in learning more? Check out these companion blogs:

>> Feeling Stuck: The Power of a United Front
>>
Feeling Stuck: Is Blame Keeping You Stuck?
>>
Feeling Stuck: Who’s On Defense?