Invalidating feelings relationship consolidating and eliminating credit card debt
Don't forget, validation says, "You matter to me, regardless of whether I agree with your perspective or whether your feelings make sense to me." When you disagree with the facts or opinions that your spouse is sharing, the key is to focus on his or her feelings. This gets us nowhere fast, and we both walk away feeling disconnected. To understand your spouse's emotions, try using phrases like: • "That sounds frustrating/discouraging/like it would really hurt." • "That must have been scary." • "How strongly are you feeling that (on a scale of 0 to 10)? " • "It sounds like you are really feeling __." • "How else did you feel? " This kind of questioning helps validate your spouse's feelings.However, I have another — to focus on Erin's emotions. But when you question, disagree, debate or argue with how he or she feels, you completely invalidate your spouse. Once you understand your husband's or wife's perspective and emotions, you can follow the reflective listening with a simple statement like: • "It makes sense to me that you are feeling that way." • "I would feel the same way." • "I can understand why you feel that way." • "What you are saying matters to me." • "Your feelings are really important." When one spouse does not object to or argue with the other's feelings, but accepts him or her with validation, the other spouse feels truly loved.
Active listening is when you’re able to accurately repeat in your own words what it is that your partner is conveying or trying to.
This can be difficult for me, because Erin's emotions or perspectives often push my buttons.
I get defensive or go into fix-it mode so quickly that it keeps me from validating her.
Invalidation, on the other hand, is to reject, debate, minimize, demean, judge or try to fix someone's emotions. When I first read through these invalidating statements, I cringed as I realized how many of the phrases I had used with my own loved ones — especially my wife, Erin.
Counselors use the expression “gaslighting” to describe efforts to gradually manipulate someone into doubting his or her own reality or to trick a person into believing he or she is insane. Sadly, I'm sure I've sent the message to Erin that not only were her feelings wrong, but there was something wrong with her.The message is that it's OK to think or feel the way he or she does.