Validate Unto Others…

If you’re interested in the general topic of (in)validation, I recommend What is… Invalidation by blogger Ashley L. Peterson, a.k.a. ashleyleia. Here I mainly want to declare my commitment moving forward to strongly favor validation over invalidation in my interactions with other people. In the last couple of years, thanks to lots of therapy, self-observation, and introspection, I have come to recognize two lifelong habits that I have and which I can see now have been ultimately self-defeating:

  1. I have a compulsion to correct people whenever they say or do something that I think is either factually incorrect, self-harming, or wrong in some way (morally, legally, etc.). I have come to see that despite my best intentions, this kind of other-corrective behavior is usually experienced as invalidating, annoying, hurtful, etc., that it is mostly ineffective, often counter productive, and is essentially an invitation for the other person to invalidate me in return, and is generally corrosive to the relationship.
  2. Whenever someone invalidates me in some way, I tend to respond first by feeling hurt, rejected, anxious, etc. and then I often try to defend myself by invalidating the person who invalidated me, often by getting angry at the person. This in particular has been highly destructive to all kinds of relationships, especially those with romantic partners, bosses, and work colleagues.

Yup. That’s about the size of it for now. Not quite sure how any of that might be useful for you, but I’m putting it out there just in case.

Let me know what you think! 🙂


Image Credit: niekverlaan on Pixabay

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7 Comments

    1. I think it’ll be a long road toward anything like mastery, but I’m definitely happy with the outcomes I’m achieving so far.

      Thanks again for writing that post on validation. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Motivational Interviewing, but I’m curious to see how you might review it. Last summer I read Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change, 3rd edition, and I’m looking at it as a skill set that might help me in my various transactions with other human beings. Especially the parts that deal with “Engaging: The Relational Foundation” (chapters 4-7). A lot of what the authors talk about in that part of the book deals with validation and its impact on relationships.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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