By definition, validation is recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid. But, why is it so important? Because everyone wants to feel heard and understood. In fact, validation communicates to someone that they are important and that you are present with them. Fortunately, there are many different ways that we can validate others. We’ll review seven of them below!
It’s important to note, that validation can take many different forms. Next, let’s explore the different ways that we can validate our loved ones.
7 different ways that we can validate others:
One, validation is active listening.
Two, validation is mindfully responding.
Three, validation is conveying that you understand why they feel the way they do. *Notice the emphasis on feelings. You can always validate how someone feels (because a person’s feelings are always valid!)
Four, validation is reflecting without judgment.
Fifth, validation is clarifying.
Six, validation is normalizing.
Seven, validation is taking what they say seriously.
Other validation tips:
Stay off devices or other distractions when active listening.
Remember, you can validate someone and not agree with them.
You can always validate feelings even if you can’t validate a behavior.
Be aware of facial expressions and physical actions when listening. Indeed, they can communicate a lot about what you are feeling and if you are listening. Examples of this include nodding or eye contact.
Be self-aware. Your own discomfort may be leading to invalidating someone else’s experience. For example, saying, “oh it’s not that bad!”