Validating feelings counseling
For example, stating “I know you are angry I did not call when I was going to be late because you were waiting for me” can help your partner to know you do care.
I didn't get encouragement or support for how I felt. These days I really don't tell anyone how I feel because I was so sick and tired of having my feelings and thoughts critized.One of the most important emotional skills is the skill of validation. Whether it is or ever will be part of the academic or corporate measures of emotional intelligence, I really don't know. But once most people start, and feel safe and validated, they will continue.But I do know that if you want to have better relationships with people, the skill of emotional validation is extremely useful. Validation allows a person to release their feelings in a healthy, safe and supportive way. Thus it builds bonds of caring, support, acceptance, understanding and trust.We help them feel heard, acknowledged, understood and accepted. It was obvious by his face that he was scared and I wanted to share, understand, and validate his feeling.Sometimes validation entails listening, sometimes it is a nod or a sign of agreement or understanding, sometimes it can be a hug or a gentle touch. But after I asked if he were a little bit scared and before he had a chance to answere the other social worker interupted us and in a scolding tone of voice told him there was nothing to be afraid of! When someone is experiencing a strong feeling, sometimes we "try to help" by telling her or him "it's not so bad." This attempt to minimize the negative experience -- to save someone from the struggle, actually undermines the effort to help.