In order for relationships to be successful, emotional
validation is essential. Active listening and ensuring your partner feels
understood are key components of validation. Learn more about why validation in
romantic relationships is so important.
What Is Emotional Validation?
The process of understanding someone's emotional experience
is known as emotional validation. By validating someone's feelings, you are
telling them, either implicitly or explicitly, that their experiences are
important and that you empathize with them. Emotional validation does not imply
agreeing with someoneâ€”you do not have to agree on everything or accept the
other person's feelings as your own. All you have to do is accept their right
to have those feelings. Emotional invalidation, on the other hand, is when you
reject someone's right to their feelings, which can make them feel judged and
Why Is Validation Important In a Relationship?
Emotional validation is an important way to make your
partner feel seen and to affirm their sense of self in relationships. It
demonstrates that you care about their experiences and makes them feel safe and
understood. Receiving validation from loved ones teaches a person that their
own emotions are important and can have a positive impact on their well-being,
self-esteem, and mental health. Listening to your significant other and
offering your support and attention demonstrates emotional intelligence and can
strengthen your emotional bond.
4 Ways to Show Validation in a Relationship
Consider these suggestions if you are having difficulty
emotionally validating your partner.
1. Avoid problem-solving: Unless your partner specifically
requests it, do not offer unsolicited advice. Instead, listen to your partner's
point of view, make sure they feel understood, and then ask if they want
advice. Prepare to accept their response, whatever it may be.
2. Have an appropriate emotional response: When someone
expresses a negative emotion to you, responding too cheerfully can make them
feel dismissed rather than accepted. When they tell you something difficult or
personal, try to match their mood and take them seriously.
3. Practice active listening: Give your undivided attention to your partner when practicing active listening. Maintain eye contact and refrain from multitasking while they are speaking to you. Take note of your body language. Leaning away and crossing your arms can create an invalidating environment. Nonverbal cues, such as nodding, smiling, or leaning in, demonstrate that you have paid attention to the other person's emotions.
4. Use validating responses: Validating statements include phrases such as, "I can see where you're coming from," "That sounds really difficult," and "I hear you." Avoid invalidating responses such as, "You're being too sensitive" or "I don't see what the problem is."