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Validating Negative Feelings

Holding hands

Validating negative feelings of another person makes them feel heard, accepted and valued. Invalidation makes others feel misunderstood, rejected, alone; and in kids, it also creates self-doubt and contributes to low self esteem and lack of confidence. Invalidation makes others feel like you are not a safe person to talk to.
Validation does not equal agreement – it is simply an acknowledgment and understanding why one may feel the way they feel given the situation. “Knowing you the way I know you, it makes sense you feel this way” – that is the message of validation.
Behind invalidating comments there usually is either unwillingness to deal with another person’s feelings and/or helplessness, insecurities and fears of the the one who invalidates.