Validation is a powerful communication skill. Its usage can dismantle power struggles, resolve arguments, and build deep trusting relationships. Validation means to express understanding and acceptance of another person's situation, whatever that might be. Validation does not mean you agree or approve. Rejecting, ignoring and judging is the opposite of validation.
Simply stated, validation is like saying, “We are confirming that they have just received an emotional package.” The challenge is to allow them to open the emotional package the way they want to open it.
How to validate other’s feelings
Saying to someone, “I understand,” is typically not helpful and tends to minimize their feelings. Simply try to validate the feelings the person has shared. Since we don’t know for sure what the person is feeling, use words that are gentle and open to possibilities.
Generally, when people feel understood they are more open to receiving help and locating a place of calm within their soul. Once this is achieved, they gain the emotional and spiritual strength they need to deal with the challenge.
How to validate yourself
Self-validation is essentially about being true and authentic to ourselves. If we can't be true and authentic, we are sacrificing ourselves for the benefit of another, and we are most likely enabling another person's dysfunction. This helps no one.
You need to start to notice how much you judge yourself rather than value yourself.
You need to start to notice your feelings, your inner knowing, and your acts of kindness to others, and consciously value them.
Put yourself first by learning to love yourself – this even includes taking decisions to eat well, give yourself enough sleep and exercise, speaking up for yourself with others without blame, creating a balance between work and play, moving yourself toward doing work you love, and so on.
Practice this and you will discover yourself feeling better about yourself and needing less and less validation from others as you take these steps.
Suicide and India
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in India. 187,000 Indians killed themselves in 2010 – and accounted for one-fifth of all global suicides.
If you’re feeling suicidal, it means that you have more pain than you can cope with right now. This pain seems overwhelming and permanent at the moment. But with time and support, you can overcome your problems and the pain and suicidal feelings will pass.
Why suicide can seem like the only option
If you are unable to think of solutions other than suicide, it is not that other solutions don’t exist, but rather that you are currently unable to see them. Therapists, counselors, or friends or loved ones, can help you to see solutions that otherwise may not be apparent to you. Give them a chance to help.
A suicidal crisis is almost always temporary
Although it might seem as if your pain and unhappiness will never end, it is important to realize that crises are usually temporary. Solutions are often found, feelings change, unexpected positive events occur. Give yourself the time necessary for things to change and the pain to subside.
Remember that while it may seem as if these suicidal thoughts and feelings will never end, this is never a permanent condition. You WILL feel better again.
Resolve not to do anything harmful to yourself and call a suicidal helpline.
Avoid alcohol or narcotics.
Don’t keep suicidal feelings to yourself, talk to someone.
Remember you WILL get through this.
Seek help from a professional counselor or at least from friends & family.
Have a picture of the person you’re closest to, with you always.
Get out in the sun and exercise.
Do something that makes you happy.
Focus on your personal goals.
Take it seriously and listen.
Get professional help and follow-up on treatment.
Remove potential means of harm.
Be willing to help sooner rather than later.
Encourage positive lifestyle changes.
If you’re feeling suicidal right now, please call for help! Call 022-25521111 in India or talk to someone you trust and let them know how bad things are.
When do you need professional help to manage your feelings?
Often feelings can weigh down on a person’s psyche. It can drive an individual to a point where instant professional help might be required to cope with the intensity of the situation and eventually overcome the same. In order to understand whether you need professional assistance to manage your feelings, you need to Understand Mental Health.
Emotional intelligence quotient
Sometimes understanding your emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) can also help you in communicating with yourself and with others. Take the quiz to know where you stand when it comes to EQ.