Sunday, February 13, 2011

Validate what others say to you.

 If all humans were to truly validate how the people in their lives, were feeling, it would practically banish conflict. Conflict arises when two parties disagree, and disagreeing is okay. It is when you do not genuinely listen to the other person, or feel you are not being listened to, that is when things start getting difficult.

If you are trying to express yourself, by way of verbalizing your thoughts or feelings, it is opening a sense of vulnerability in you, and when these are reciprocated with a feeling of not being heard or respected, let alone a harsh reaction, you go right into a feeling of being hurt and then defensiveness. You will find yourself repeating your point over and over, trying to be validated by the other parties.

If someone is expressing themselves, and you find them getting defensive, check to see whether you have validated whatever they were expressing to you. Remember, as soon as you give reason, as to why they should feel a different way, you are telling them they should not be feeling or thinking the way they do, therefore not validating what they are saying.

You cannot possibly tell someone how they should or should not be feeling, because you do not know what their past experiences involve, therefore do not understand what is being triggered in them to feel that way, UNLESS of course, you genuinely listen to hear what they are trying to express.

This does not mean you have to agree with them, it just means you have understood what they are trying to say. If you don't agree with someone and want validate what they are feeling or saying you can say things like.. ''I understand you are upset because......''  or " I can see why you would be upset, I would be too ", or '' I'm not sure understand, but how can I help ''. Humans feel understood when we are validated.

It doesn't always make everything all better, but it gives us a sense of calmness within. Knowing that what we put out there, was received. It is not easy for a lot of people to put their thoughts or feelings out there because they have lacked validation in the past, and have developed a habit of not opening up to others. Really who can blame them ?, it is hard to put your personal thoughts and feelings out there to be understood, only to have them reflected by the other parties defensive behavior.

Please try to be mindful to everybody you speak to, in your day to day life, and ask yourself....did you validate what they expressed to you ?  When you get good at doing this, you can start to read their emotions to better understand what they are saying. You can feel someones vulnerability, and when this happens, you can learn to be kinder when expressing yourself to someone, and while someone is expressing themselves to you.

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