“The Power of Validation”
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the woman in your life gets “stuck” in emotionally charged experiences and will talk about it until you want to drown yourself in the dog’s water dish? Would you like to know how to help her get past it? I thought so. Read on, dear friend …
I was involved in an incident that I found extremely upsetting. The first person I told laughed about it. The next person blew it off as no big deal … and so it went with each re-telling. Not only was I upset, but I was being told that I had no reason to be upset. Talk about frustrating!
After a couple days, I was still thinking about this incident constantly and to my horror, I found myself talking about it to anyone who would listen. I felt “out of control” – unable to stop myself from talking about it. Logically, I knew I needed to move on, but emotionally, I was stuck like a bug in tree sap. I needed validation and the less I got, the more desperate I became for it.
I finally called an old friend and said, “I need to be told that it’s okay to be upset about this.” After hearing my tale through to the end (a very important step), he simply said; “Of course this situation upset you. You’re such a compassionate person and that’s one of the things I respect about you.”
POOF! Like magic, I was “unstuck.” I was able to let go and move on, because he acted like it was the most natural thing in the world to be upset. I know it sounds a bit silly. We all know logically that it is okay and healthy to be upset/afraid, etc., but women need to hear this.
Over the years, I have learned to ask for what I need. I have started saying, “Please, listen without feeling the need to fix this for me. When I’m done, simply let me know that it’s okay for me to feel this way.” I’m blessed, because most women don’t know what validation is or just how much they need it.
Now, you’ll notice the phrasing I use asks the person to listen without feeling the need to fix. I say it this way because men are naturally “fix it” beings and tend to feel helpless when a woman talks about her feelings. This way, the man knows that just by listen, he will be helping me. The right words and a hug generally work a lot better than any solutions he may have to offer. The book that helped me most with this is “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” by John Gray and I highly recommend it.
Validation is a simple as saying, “Gee, that must have been scary for you” or “I can see how you would be upset by something like that.” You’d be surprised at just how far a little validation goes.
The best part of validation is that the more often a woman experiences it, the more she feels trust for the person who validates (that’s you, ya lucky guy!) and for herself. Plus, the easier it becomes for her to move on. What a wonderful gift to give and receive!