Validation is defined by Google Dictionary as follows:
Sometimes we feel depressed or sad because we don’t feel validated. Feelings of validation are hard to express because on one hand we know what we are missing. Then on the other hand, we don’t want to be selfish or screaming for attention.
When dealing with emotions, it is important to get things off your chest, including feelings of validation. People express feelings differently. People perceive feelings differently. What one person considers validation may not be enough validation for someone else.
Everyone has emotions. Those emotions play a lot into how we treat others and how we let others treat us. Nobody wants to feel like their emotions don’t matter, or aren’t validated.
Communicating your ideas on what validation means to you, especially in a relationship, will benefit you both in the end. Communication is key.
Here are some examples.
1. Mary is the oldest of 3 children. Mary’s mother is constantly giving attention to Mary’s siblings. Her siblings need more help than she does so Mary feels like she isn’t validated or worthy enough as the attention is always on them. Mary’s mother doesn’t notice that she isn’t giving Mary the validation she needs. She assumes that since Mary is able to take care of herself, she doesn’t need validating or attention.
2. Beth and Frank have been married for 4 years. They have two children and both work outside the home. Over the years Beth has started showing Frank less attention. She no longer holds his hand in public. Frank feels like his relationship isn’t validated because of how much Beth has changed. Beth doesn’t realize how much she has changed because of how much busier their lives have become.
3. Roger and his father, Greg, have never seen eye to eye. Roger has never felt worthy of his father’s attention. Whenever he has brought up his feelings to his father, his father shuts them down very quick. Roger is left feeling like his feelings aren’t validated and don’t matter. Greg has a narcissistic personality, he cannot validate feelings for anyone other than himself.
4. Martin is six years old. He constantly is asking his parents to play with him, but they are always too busy to say yes. Martin feels like he is unworthy of their time, like he is the least important. He is 6, he cannot express how he feels. He spends many years, growing up, without feeling validated. It paves the path for how he treats others in his relationships.
5. Hailey expresses her feelings to her bully, Patty. Patty, being the bully that she is, shows no remorse and reassures Hailey that her bullying is right. Hailey knows right from wrong and knows that Patty is just a bully. Hailey doesn’t feel like her feelings are validated when Patty refuses them.
There are many scenarios where validation plays a large roll in someone’s emotions and actions. If someone is coming to you with feelings, be open minded. Just because your intent and their perception were different, that doesn’t mean their feelings are wrong and it also doesn’t mean you are right. In order to move on from any of these scenarios, communication is key. Communication, but also expressing validation. Letting that person know you understand why they felt the way they did. Letting them know they weren’t wrong in their feelings. Find what the differences are between you and sort it out. Then, everyone wins.