Feeling heard, one of the simplest things in life yet so underrated. Validation is something that everybody yearns for but is not being practised abundantly. How powerful and important can the need to feel listened to and accepted be?
Validation is a communication skill which shows that one is truly being understood for their actions, emotions, and point of view even if it’s disagreed upon. This basic skill of communication holds the power to make and break human relationships. Having a sense of validation in relationships is a sign of good communication which impacts the intentions of our words, feelings, and emotions. Validation in our life holds huge importance as it can act like a grateful feeling of humanness that gets one through their worst of days. According to research, receiving validation can be helpful in emotional regulation and management as well. Invalidation or non-recognition may sound like, we are not cared for enough.
If you receive comments like, “You’re such a downer”, and “You’re sad all the time, makes for a mood kill”, it may feel like you are not receiving validation for feelings and not feeling accepted for your subjective experiences. This may end up impacting your self-confidence and self-esteem. On the other hand, validating responses sounds like, “That must’ve been difficult” or “I can see you are making efforts.”
Validation not only has effects on relationships but also strengthens us as Individuals mentally. Although receiving validation from people around you is essential, the first and foremost thing needed is to be validated by yourself. Validating yourself can be important for recognising our good and bad traits, leading us to have good self-esteem.
So, what kind of skills do we need to possess to practice validation? The following are some skills which can be essential for validating another person or even yourself:
Practicing active listening gives space for clarification in the conversation and make the individual feel as if you are genuine in listening and make them feel they are being understood.
Having empathy has its own benefits in both maintaining human relationships as well as emotional regulation. In validation however, it is essential that you understand and embrace a person’s experience and then recognize it. Not having put yourself in other’s shoes first and then giving validation may come across as an empty statement. Hence, empathy and validation go hand in hand.
While validating somebody for their subjective experiences it is not necessary to agree upon them. Validating is only done for their emotions and feelings that they went through and not their behaviour and their actions upon them. Hence, being open minded is very essential for validation.
Paying attention to one’s body language is a great way to make out what the person wants to say, something they are not being able to portray in words. Over here, pointing those nonverbal cues out and asking the person about it may make them feel cared for and heard. Body language can also serve as validation for the other individual. For instance, leaning towards the person while they are sharing something may make them feel like you are really invested in their story and that you care.
Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.
MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.
About the Author.
Dhanvee Salwan is a counselor at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.