Honor - Interpersonal Relationships & Validation - The Warriors Will

Honor - Interpersonal Relationships & Validation

Good afternoon, Warriors! I hope you have enjoyed your week. For Mark and I, it's been a rough one. As two connected businesses, we talk a lot, even if it's just to encourage each other. I'm grateful that I gained a new friend out of a freelance writing gig! As usual, the Honor Warrior focuses on how we love and support the people in our lives.

Validation has been a buzzword for a while now. There are opinions everywhere. However, on this site, we love supporting mental health, and validating the people in your life is a beautiful way to strengthen their trampled-upon pieces.

Did you know? You can validate and understand what someone is saying WITHOUT agreeing with them.


For some people, you may have to go back and read that a couple of times. I know I did when I first moved out and started to understand the damage my invalidation was causing others.


One thing my family drilled into my head when I was young was that acknowledging someone else's words, especially if we disagreed with them morally, was the same as agreeing with them. Do any of you struggle with this? We go through life with an opportunity to build others up and help illuminate each other's paths, yet we seem to perceive ourselves as the person on the moral high ground most of the time. It's not wrong to want to be the protagonist. However, I do see a danger in not being self-aware of our imperfections. Most of us have been invalidated our entire lives, even as children, and we don't even realize we are doing it.


Sometimes, the other person's words have good intentions toward you. However, depending on how they are worded, they can still be invalidating.


Here are some examples of ways I've been invalidated:


Neutrality: If you have an abuser and others claim they are going to stay out of private stuff between you and that person, they are invalidating you. Check out this fascinating article on how neutrality sometimes damages trauma survivors worse than the trauma itself!

Someone always has it worse: Pain is always valid. Even if it's "small". Two people can experience the same event and have different levels of trauma because of it. You don't deserve to be invalidated because you didn't brush something off. Even if you fucked up and have to practice Radical Acceptance in order to know how to heal and then do better. Hurt people hurt other people. So, when we deny others the opportunity to process their emotions effectively, we are taking away their ability to do better. Caution: if someone has hurt you, it isn't your job to help them heal for what they did to you. This article is talking about helping the people around us. I was traumatized by years of people saying "forgive others," always to the point of not being able to even talk about or acknowledge the things that happened to me.


There's nothing to be afraid of: As a parent, this one is so hard! I want to reassure my little guy that he can be brave and conquer anything! I also have learned how this starts to create a willpower situation. Instead of finding ways to work through how he's feeling so that he can face the situation, invalidating teaches us to push feelings down and ignore them. To out willpower them. The problem here is that there is a limit to willpower without emotional regulation, and invalidation stops the process of learning to regulate emotion.

There are many more, but for now, let's look at ways you can learn to validate the warriors in your circle effectively.



DBT SKILL - The 6 Levels of Validation


DBT skills rest on the concept of emotional regulation, which is the direct result of validating and processing emotions. Again, whether someone is in the right, wrong, or somewhere in between, it's still critical for everyone to learn emotional regulation. Validation does not mean you automatically agree with them.


Pay Attention: Face the person talking to you and make eye contact (it doesn't have to be intense or unending; you want to show that you are engaged). Put aside phones and other distractions for essential conversations.


Reflect Back: Repeat the other person's words to show that you understand what they are saying. If you misunderstand something, they may adjust what you say, and the two of you will end up on the same page.


"Read Minds": Make an educated guess at what is not being said. This isn't to tell them how they are feeling or to go into "fix it" mode. It simply helps them work through their feelings as they express them.


Express Understanding: Let the person know that their feelings are understandable given their past experiences. Remember, this does not mean you agree with them or need to encourage bad behaviors.


Acknowledge the Valid: Normalize that their thoughts and feelings make sense based on how most respond in the same situation.


Radical Genuiness: Respond as their peer in that we are all humans with emotions and feelings. We are all trying our best to get through life's struggles and experience joy along the way.


Which levels are you more interested in learning about more? Comment below!

**You are not someone's replacement for therapy or expected to fix them. You can validate without berating or assigning blame. This article is on how to validate. If there is a situation with someone else whether you have been traumatized, you do not owe them validation**


Need help with difficult conversations? Check out this article for communicating effectively!


I hope to see you all again next week!

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