Emotional Validation in Relationships

Emotional validation in relationships is all about recognising, understanding and expressing acceptance of someone’s feelings. This allows them to feel safe enough to share their emotions and experiences with you, which in turn strengthens the relationship. It’s also known to reduce misunderstandings and conflict. In contrast, responses that are dismissive or critical can lead to a breakdown in communication and increased stress.

For example, let’s say your partner tells you about a difficult experience at work and how upset it makes them feel. You may find yourself making comments like “You’re overreacting,” or even worse, blaming them for their emotions. This is an example of emotional invalidation and it’s extremely damaging to your relationship.

Practicing validation can be hard because it requires you to step outside of your own perspective and look at the situation from their point of view. It also requires you to avoid offering advice or playing devil’s advocate, which are often perceived as dismissive and critical. Instead, try to use empathetic language when describing their feelings and experiences. This could include rephrasing their statements or saying things like “I see how that would be upsetting” to show your empathy and understanding.

Remember that it takes courage to open up and share your emotions with another person, so don’t make them feel like they aren’t worth the effort. Invalidating them will only cause them to feel shut down and alone in their emotions, preventing them from reaching out to you in the future or finding a solution as a team. Emotional validation in relationships

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