Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Validated or Invalidated?

This past week-end I was reminded how important it is to validate peoples feelings. We may not agree with what they are feelings or their feelings might be uncomfortable for us, but it is still a good idea to respect them by validating their feelings.

There were two different experiences that reminded me of the importance of validating feelings. The first experience - was when I was asked how I was doing - and I guess the tone of my fine - was not what the other person wanted to hear. So I was asked about it. And I shared a painful experience with this person. And what I got next was not what I expected. I had expected just understanding, but that is not what I got. I got a bit of a scolding. The situation really bothered me and it took me a while to figure out that what had really bothered me was that my feelings were not validated.

The next time that I was faced with not validating some one's feelings - I was actually at fault. My husband has said something and it was how he said it with the tone of voice and all that made me feel uncomfortable. He was sharing his disappoint about something - and because I have a personality of thinking I need to fix things- really felt a lot of pressure because there was nothing I could do. So I had felt defensive and what I ended up saying - was not helpful at all- and it certainly did not validate his feelings at all. It took me a bit to figure out what I was doing. And once I did- I apologized. This was not the first time that I have done this - and it probably won't be the last- but the good news is that I am figuring out what I am doing quicker each time, which enables me to apologize and then be more open to listening to his feelings.

I have to say one more thing about the first experience- I know that this friend meant to be of encouragement - but it did not encourage me. In fact- I had recovered from the original experience but after talking to her- I was upset again. And it took me some time to gather my composer again.

Other people's feelings are important - even if we don't always agree with them. Sometimes people just need to share their feelings in order to let it go and move on. I hope I can do better to validate other people's feelings. And I also hope that I can quicker come to the conclusion when I feel invalidated because then I can move through those unpleasant emotions quicker. Just knowing why I feel the way I do, often times helps me process the emotions and let it go sooner.

Anyway I hope that this lesson that I have been reminded of again - will help someone else. :O)

8 comments:

  1. I remember something that a favorite pastor told me many years ago: He said that even if we disagree with how another person feels, what they are feeling is just as real to them, so we must remember to be sensitive to that. He had a PHD in Psychiatry, so he knew what he was talking about. besides that...it makes sense too.

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  2. Hi Lisa! I could have used this wisdom yesterday. My friend really went off on a tirade and made me feel so uncomfortable. She wanted me to back up her point, but I just couldn't.
    I should have just validated her feelings. Genius! I hope she didn't feel too upset by my lack of response. I'm going to remember this post. Thank you!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Ceil- That sounds like a difficult situation. I can sure relate to there being some situations that it would be very hard to validate someone else's feelings.
      Blessings to you too, Lisa :O)

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  3. I think it's so important to make an effort to listen to others with compassion (to avoid what happened with your first example). Thank you for this reminder. Hugs to you!

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    1. Well I know for me - I have had to learn and relearn this lesson and I figure will have to be reminded about it again.
      God bless! Lisa :O)

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