Monday, March 16, 2015

Validating Your Truth

Validation of your truth is the essence of respect. When others appreciate your truth and validate your truth, it means that they are giving you space to have your version of your own truth without trying to correct you, tell you that you're wrong or explaining what they think you should be feeling or experiencing. Validation is a crucial ingredient to building a healthy identity if you've incurred any abuse or trauma in the past, or if you're simply lacking in a sense of self worth and self esteem. Invalidation is a key issue for victims of narcissistic abuse and child abuse.

The Root of Validation is Respect.
Psychological and emotional validation is pretty difficult to explain technically, however, invalidation is something that most every one has felt, though we may not always know when it is occurring. As a part of my healing journey, I've become aware of invalidation in my relationships, as well as within myself. This awareness has helped me to see which relationships are healthy and worth keeping, and which relationships are toxic and harmful for me.

When I am invalidated, it makes my day feel down. It makes me feel down. It makes me feel badly. Yet, when I'm validated, I FEEL LIKE PRINCESS LEIA!!!  I am energized. Renewed. Invigorated. I believe in myself. Validation is like scoobie snacks. So, so, so good for the soul.

It is my hope that these insights will help you to understand the unhealthy dynamics in your relationships and your internal dialog so that you can begin to protect yourself from those who wish to deny you right to your own truth... and to help you know when you're tangoing with a narcissist in disguise.

The Root of Validation is...
  • Respect for you as an individual. 
  • Respect for you as a person. 
  • Respect for your experience. 
  • Respect for your individual rights.
  • Respect for your beliefs.
  • Respect for your choices.
  • Respect for what you feel.
  • Respect for your own intuition.
Notice that VALIDATION does not imply agreement. We can be validating to others even if we don't agree. Validation is not a blanket agreement, but rather, the allowing of the unique experiences, feelings and expressions of that person without trying to rewrite, manipulate or replace how they're feeling or experiencing with ones own sense of what's right or wrong.

Validation is simply accepting ones unique view of our own experiences and giving us space to be who we really are. Validating is the process of supporting, encouraging and allowing that person to have views that are uniquely his or her own, without trying to replace their truth with our own.

Give people SPACE!!!

We've all been culprits of invalidation, especially if we don't realize what invalidation is, or how to validate properly. The key is to understand how to connect with others in a way that conveys respect for their experience without losing our own opinions and experiences.

What Is Validation?

Validation is at the heart of intimacy. Sometimes to know what a term truly means, it helps to write lists. I love writing lists about psychological topics because it always leads me to insight and discovery. So, what is it like we are validated by others?
  • We feel good.
  • We feel as if we're healing.
  • We feel connected.
  • We feel right.
  • We feel okay.
  • We feel heard.
  • We feel understood.
  • We feel seen.
  • We feel loved.
  • We feel important.
  • We feel approved.
  • We feel alive.
  • We feel refreshed.
When we are validated by those around us in our relationships, we feel like we're on the right path... It helps us to feel grounded in our truth. It gives us fuel to soar to new heights. Validation is the act of being seen for who we are, not for what others want us to be.

Invalidation, on the other hand, is NOT being seen for who we are, but actually being shamed or made to feel that the way we are--believing, feeling--is wrong. Chronic invalidation in childhood is considered traumatic and damaging to the heart and soul of a person. Like "soul murder." Invalidation is at the heart of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in adults and in my opinion, invalidation plays a significant role in the formation of codependent traits.

If you wish to learn more about Invalidation, I highly recommend you watch my YouTube Video on Invalidation vs. Validation and study this website: I have also gathered some research on Invalidation Here.

Being Validated: How Does It Look In Real Life?

When you are validated it means you are given space to be who you are. When in a relationship with someone who is validating towards you, you experience a feeling of ease, comfort and mutual acceptance.

Invalidation, however, causes you to feel rejected, wrong, ignored and squashed. Invalidation is a form of covert psychological abuse. Invalidating comments can often be very subtle, so the victim has no idea that he or she is being disregarded. At the core of the issue is respect of one's right to be, as well as to feel and express their true experience to an accepting other. Validation is at the heart of intimacy, respect and regard.

Here are a few examples of the process of validation in every day relating.

Statement of Personal Truth
There was something about that person that concerns me.

Validating Reply (while not necessarily agreeing)
Really?  I didn't notice anything... but then again, we only spoke to her for about 10 minutes.

Validating Reply Implies:

- I do not agree or disagree with you.
- I did not see the same thing as you, but I won't say you're wrong in what you saw.
- I didn't see anything alarming, but I could be wrong.
- You may be right.
- I'm willing to keep an open mind.
- I trust your opinion.
- I may or may not agree with you, either way, I respect your vantage.

Invalidating Reply
Really? I thought she was sweet. (condescending tone)

Invalidating Reply Implies:

- I do not agree with your experience.
- Your experience is wrong.
- My experience is correct.
- You are incorrect. 
- I am better than you.
- Your gut instincts are wrong.
- My gut instincts trump yours.
- You should feel ashamed for saying otherwise.

When a person invalidates another person, it has been my experience, that they are attempting to gain some sort of control, or gain power over the other. They are trying to use this person as an extension of themselves and not give that person the freedom to be who they are while offering their support. Here is another example:

Statment of Personal Truth I am no longer a Christian.

Validating Reply (while not necessarily agreeing)
That's okay, I respect your beliefs. I will still treat you the same.

Invalidating Reply
I cannot even continue this conversation. How could you not be a Christian?

Learning to recognize when your truth is being validated and when it's being invalidated is a big part of learning to bond to the right kind of people, especially when you were raised in an invalidating environment. You must learn to turn away from invalidating people who wish to take you off the throne of your own life and put themselves there instead. You must learn to recognize and appreciate people in your life who give you space to be who you are and encourage your freedom of thought, speech, feeling, belief and experience. Find those validating people and always, always validate yourself. ((Hugs))

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