It's a flat-out dismissal of your emotions, but emotional invalidation is especially insidious because of its subtlety.
It's a quiet erosion of your value in the relationship.
I’d been searching for a Band-Aid to cover a hemorrhage. Whether through touch or through words, validation that I’m worthy was like a drug. So it was no surprise in couples therapy, when our therapist explained to my then boyfriend that he needed to say that he “heard” me and that my feelings were “legitimate” and “made sense” that I felt like I had finally won. It turns out there is a fine line between wanting your partner to understand you and wanting your partner to validate your feelings.
For years, I wanted others to confirm that my feelings were okay to have.
Most recognize or are reminded by their partners when they are not listening.
Invalidation The problem with invalidation, and the reason it is so caustic to relationships, is that it is not simply the absence of validation.
Probably the hardest things to change are the things we don’t realize we’re doing – like invalidating our partner.
Thanks to a plethora of self-help books on relationships, most partners, whether dating, committed or long married, have become aware of the value of listening for improving understanding and connection.
It carries the implication that you must be crazy, bad, over-sensitive or inept to feel a certain way.Anywhere you look for relationship advice, you'll hear that communication is the key to a successful relationship. And this all goes without saying that not caring about your feelings is incredibly cold and callous. We do have control over our emotions to some extent, but always claiming you're too sensitive every time you get upset just invalidates any unhappiness you might have.When your partner is shutting down your ability to communicate — turning your relationship into a one-sided conversation — they're killing any chance the two of you have at making it. And then, since you're "not really unhappy, just being sensitive," there's no need to talk about why you're unhappy. He spoke on how we can change the world by changing our relationships. He went on to explain how we strive to connect with others in order to experience a taste of the joy and love we once received from our primary caregivers. The fact that I need him to tell me I have a right to feel this way is exactly what’s keeping me in a relationship that’s wrong for both of us.This connection is our deepest desire and losing it is our greatest fear. It’s counter-intuitive to look to relationships to fix wounds from our past. The belief that I might find joy in a relationship because it might temporarily quell a deeper abandonment issue is the exact reason I remained codependent for most of my life. Whether or not another person sees it, I have a right to feel the way I feel.Just being present, paying complete attention to the person in a nonjudgmental way, is often the answer.