Examples of validation (DW#740)
Apr 17, 2020
We have been talking about demonstrating our care and understanding of our loved ones by validating their emotions and experiences.
There are, of course, many many ways to validate. The essence of validation is to demonstrate that you recognize their emotions and that given their experience and world view, it makes sense that they would feel that way.
Here are some examples:
Here is what I am hearing you say (summarize what the other person has told you).
I can see that you are (sad, scared, angry, etc.)
I can see you are doing your best and are working hard.
Yeah, I can totally see how that would make you feel really (sad, scared, angry, etc.)
It makes sense that you would be so upset about that.
Tell me more (shows interest).
I can see you are overwhelmed. Can we talk about it?
It sounds like you are scared and this is hard for you.
I can see that this is important to you.
Given your values, this must really mean a lot to you.
Of course… that makes sense! I would have felt the same way.
What a tough spot.
Wow, that would be confusing.
He really said that? I’d be angry too!
Ah, that is so sad.
You have every right to be proud; that was a major accomplishment!
I’m so happy for you! You’ve worked incredibly hard on this. It must feel amazing.
No wonder you are upset. That sounds very frustrating.
Notice again how each of these responses refers to a specific emotion and shows some justification for or acceptance of it. Including both elements of validation shows the other person that you not only hear them, you understand them.
Here is the thing about validation: this is not something you can read about and learn. The only way to get better at validation is to play with it and practice.
So go for it!
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