Friday, December 27, 2013

Validation

One of the most important things that you learn as a human being is how to validate other people's feelings. This isn't an easy thing to learn now to do, but it is one of the cornerstone of healthy relationships.

 Responding to people's emotions is challenging for many different reasons. Often emotions are illogical and irrational. Because of this, many people when faced with other peoples emotions respond by invalidating other people's feelings. Here's the thing, emotions are never wrong. They may seems crazy and fleeting, but they are never wrong.

When you are told that your emotions are wrong, you are being told that your reactions to the world, your perceptions and all of your life that contributed to this emotional reaction don't matter. Our emotions and our feelings are not only a reflections of our perceptions but also our souls.

When you tell someone about the way you feel about something and they tell you that your feelings are wrong, what they are doing in either trying to control you or not deal with you. If you convince someone that what their feelings are wrong then it places you in a position of power. If you can judge someone else's emotions as being good or bad then you must know better than them.

There is no faster way to make someone stop talking about their emotions then telling them that they are wrong. It ends the conversations and leaves the person trying to express themselves feelings at a loss. When you disregard someone's emotions, you make them questions their own self-worth and if you do this enough, you tear them down into a shell of themselves.

Learning how to validate someone else's emotions isn't easy. It takes patience, work and time. You can't fake caring about someone and without opening up yourself and sharing your own emotions, the people in your life will never open up to you.

When someone tells you how they feel about something, don't try to figure out why they are feeling the way they feel or how to make them feel about it differently. Just listen and try to understand what they are saying . Don't focus on how you would feel if you were them, focus on what they are feeling. Don't worry about what to say in response, this isn't about you, just listen.

Repeat back to them what they told you and see if you got it right. Acknowledge any lack of logic in their emotions but tell them that their emotions are important for you to discuss regardless. Try to get them comfortable talking by not interrupting and only responding with supportive language. Take the time to do this, it's important.

The range of human emotion is intimating and uncomfortable sometimes and it's natural for us to want to avoid these emotions. But we have to try and not turn our heads away, but lean into the storm.

There is no truer reflection of the way that we treat ourselves than the way we treat others. More important than validating other people's emotions is validating our own emotions. If we don't ever learn to understand our own feelings we have no hope of understanding other people's feelings.

Be open to others and be open to yourself. Don't rush to give advice and don't try to change emotions. Understand others as you wish to be understood yourself. In this way, you will find the moments, the light and connections that turns an existences into a life worth living.

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