Validation at this level would be saying, "Given what happened to you, I completely understand your not wanting to be around my dog. Self-validation would be understanding your own reactions in the context of your past experiences. Level five is normalizing or recognizing emotional reactions that anyone would have. Understanding that your emotions are normal is helpful for everyone.
For the emotionally sensitive person, knowing that anyone would be upset in a specific situation is validating. For example, "Of course you're anxious. Speaking before an audience the first time is scary for anyone. Level six is radical genuineness. Radical genuineness is when you understand the emotion someone is feeling on a very deep level.
Maybe you have had a similar experience. Radical genuineness is sharing that experience as equals. Understanding the levels may be easy. Putting them into practice is often more difficult. Practice is the key to making validation a natural part of the way you communicate. Consider this example. Your best friend is upset because her husband cut up her credit card. She says he's treating her like a child and is so controlling she doesn't have room to breathe.
When you ask her what his reason was, she says that she overspent for the fourth time, running the balance over the limit by buying expensive shoes and they were unable to pay the bill. How do you validate her? Remember to use the highest possible level. Think of your answer before you read further! Probably Level 2 is the highest level you could use. You could say, "I understand, you are upset because your husband cut up your credit cards without your agreement—-that made you feel like he was acting like your parent.
You probably couldn't use Level 6 or radical genuineness as it's unlikely you have similar experiences that you could understand her feelings on a deep level, such as having had the same experience and reaction. Level 5, normalizing, would not work because most people would agree his response was reasonable and not be upset in that situation.
There is nothing to make her response more understandable in terms of her history, so Level 4 is not possible. Level 3 is also not applicable because she's told her feelings clearly--nothing to guess. Let's try another example. Jesse tells you she quit her job. She quit because her boss loudly criticized her in front of other people. She's asked him twice before to not embarrass her but he loses his temper easily.
She felt afraid of him because he reminded her of a verbally abusive uncle and she couldn't continue to work for him. What level of validation do you use? Level 6 or Level 5 might work in this situation. If you have been in a similar situation or you really understand how she felt, you can validate her by saying, "I completely understand. I would have done the same thing.
Level 5 would be, "I think most people would have felt the same way you did. Though she has a history of being verbally abused, you don't use Level 4 because Level 5 fits. Always use the highest level possible. Level 4 would be to say, "Given your history of being verbally abused, I understand why you would quit. Joanna calls you and talks about her diet. She complains that she has eaten chocolate cake and other sweets and wants to eat more, but she doesn't want to gain weight.
What level of validation can you use? Level 3 would be a good choice. Joanna didn't mention any feelings though she is eating for emotional reasons. You could say, "Has something happened? My guess is you're upset about something. At that point you could use a Level 5 or 6, depending on how you feel about losing a pet. When Shawna was a teenager, she almost drowned in a large pond. She was a poor swimmer and swam out further than she realized. When she stopped swimming, her feet couldn't touch bottom and she swallowed water.
She panicked and a friend swam to save her. Since that time she's been afraid of water. A neighbor invited her to a pool party. A guy who was flirting with her pushed her into the pool and she panicked, even though she was only in waist high water. She tells you that she's ashamed of her reaction and she hates being crazy. Level 4 validation would work in this situation.
Anyone with a history of drowning would probably react the same way. Emotional invalidation is when a person's thoughts and feelings are rejected, ignored, or judged. Invalidation is emotionally upsetting for anyone, but particularly hurtful for someone who is emotionally sensitive. Invalidation disrupts relationships and creates emotional distance. When people invalidate themselves, they create alienation from the self and make building their identity very challenging.
Self-invalidation and invalidation by others make recovery from depression and anxiety particularly difficult. Some believe that invalidation is a major contributor to emotional disorders. Most people would deny that they invalidate the internal experience of others. Very few would purposefully invalidate someone else. But well-intentioned people may be uncomfortable with intense emotions or believe that they are helping when they are actually invalidating. In terms of self-invalidation, many people would agree they invalidate themselves, but would argue that they deserve it.
They might say they don't deserve validation. They are uncomfortable with their own humanness. The truth is that validation is not self-acceptance, it is only an acknowledgement that an internal experience occurred. There are many different reasons and ways that people who care about you invalidate you. Here are just a few. Misinterpreting what it means to be close : Sometimes people think that knowing just how someone else feels without having to ask means they are emotionally close to that person.
It's like saying they know you as well as you know you, so they don't ask, they assume, and may even tell you how you think and feel. Misunderstanding what it means to validate: Sometimes people invalidate because they believe if they validate they are agreeing. A person can state, "You think it's wrong that you're angry with your friend," and not agree with you. Validation is not agreeing. But because they want to reassure you they invalidate by saying, "You shouldn't think that way.
Wanting to fix your feelings : "Come on, don't be sad. Want some ice cream? Not wanting to hurt your feelings : Sometimes people lie to you in order to not hurt your feelings. Maybe they tell you that you look great in a dress that in truth is not the best style for you. Maybe they agree that your point of view in an argument when in fact they do not think you are being reasonable.
Wanting the best for you : People who love you want the best for you. So they may do work for you that you could do yourself. Or they encourage you to make friends with someone who is influential when you don't really enjoy the person, telling you that that person is a great friend when it's not true. She'll be a good friend to you. Blaming : "You always have to be the crybaby, always upset about something and ruin every holiday. You never think and always make everything harder.
To begin this conversation with your child, explain that you really want to hear and understand how they are feeling and thinking — no more guessing. You are going to lay out some pieces of paper with ideas as to how they can start this conversation.
Be warm and calm and begin. Remember the goals of this conversation which are stated a few paragraphs above. Brain Academi offers remedial tutoring for reading and comprehension skills, subject specific tutoring, and executive functioning organization coaching to children and youth of all ages. Check out everything they have to offer here.
If you think these Sentence Starters could be helpful for a friend or family member, please forward this blog post to them. Sharon's Blog. May 25, Sharon Selby Attachment. Examples of Validating Statements. Ed, M. January 1,
However, remember that practice, practice, and more practice will not only improve your validating skills but also will help your child to develop emotional wisdom. Oakland, CA. New Harbinger Publications, Inc. For parents: From quick problem solving mode to emotional detective work Behavior change , Emotion Regulation , Empirically supported treatments , Parent series: emotion regulation , Uncategorized.
Invalidation cycle. June Question of the Month: So many favorite numbers! Check Out Our Newsletter. Technology Use for Children and Teens. Shoutout to ADAA. Giving a damn: how to figure out the stuff that matters. Be warm and calm and begin. Remember the goals of this conversation which are stated a few paragraphs above. Brain Academi offers remedial tutoring for reading and comprehension skills, subject specific tutoring, and executive functioning organization coaching to children and youth of all ages.
Check out everything they have to offer here. If you think these Sentence Starters could be helpful for a friend or family member, please forward this blog post to them. Sharon's Blog. May 25, Sharon Selby Attachment. Examples of Validating Statements.
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