- Gender and Relationships
Fix Your Relationship Problems for Good One Key at a Time
Learn About the Emotional Health of Your Marriage
As most of you know, I work with couples to enhance and improve their relationships. Whether it's to add some spice and romance, work with aphrodisiacs, or heavier topics such as working on recovering from affairs and addictions, I am passionate about helping to create a better world, one couple at a time.
I recently launched a brand new eight week program for couples that I'm very excited about. It's about the nine keys to unlocking True Love potential. I won't take your time with the details, but all the keys are about skills and topics that are necessary to create the best possible relationships. One of those keys is so critical I really just want to share it with the whole world.
The critical relationship key, or skill, that I'm talking about is emotional validation. This is so critical to us as human beings that psychiatrists believe that children raised without this need being met show a greatly increased risk of diseases such as Bi-Polar, Depression, Anxiety, and other emotional and personality disorders. Adults as well suffer greatly when they are in an emotionally invalidating environment. It just makes sense, if you are truly pursuing healthy
relationships, not only with your life partner, but with others in your life, that you will want to pay great attention to how you can help provide emotional validation.
What is Emotional Validation?
The most simple definition of validation is it's to confirm what your are observing, hearing, or witnessing about another person in a way that shows them acceptance and acknowledgment. As simple as it sounds, it's amazing how often we don't take that extra thirty seconds or few minutes to present others with such an important gift.
- Showing validation sounds like "I can understand why you are feeling that way." It is about showing acceptance of another person, whether you agree with them or not. Validating another person means you listen to them. Put down the cell phone, stop texting, look AT who ever is talking to you, and listen to them.
- Accept what is being said to you. You don't have to agree. In fact, you may think the other person is entirely irrational or completely nuts to feel or think whatever it is that they are sharing with you. But not only is it offensive to point that out, it's not agreat way to show that you are valuing them as a person.
- Seek clarification and seek understanding. This can look like "I hear you are saying you are upset that you lost your job and think it's unfair that you were the one let go of, is that correct?". When they confirm or offer additional explanations, you can then validate their feelings "I would feel that way too" could be a great validating statement.
Now, here is where validating another person gets a little tricky. Most of us want to jump in and fix things. Refrain from doing that. Often times the person doesn't even want that from you, they may just want to talk. Also, keep your judgments and critical thoughts to yourself.
Just by taking that little bit of extra time and effort to show good validation actions, your communication levels will become more open, loving and trusting. Walls of resentment, abandonment issues and trust issues will melt away. Caustic elevations of arguing, complaining, bickering and nagging will also become a thing of the past.
Remember Painful feelings that are expressed, acknowledged and validated by a trusted listener will diminish. Painful feelings that are ignored will gain strength. The same holds true for positive feelings too, except that positive feelings that are validated and acknowledged will grow, and if they are ignored they will lose strength.
What Validation Is NOT:
- Your partner shares their feelings and you say "You shouldn't feel that way", Or "What about how I'm feeling?", or "Don't be stupid". Or worse yet, "You just want to bitch".
- Someone is trying to talk to you, but you only half listen while you continue to play video games, watch t.v., type on your computer, text, or some other form of rudeness. Yes, that is rude. Look at someone when they are talking to you, when your life is over you'll wish you'd spent more time paying attention to your loved ones than your material possessions, so give them your time willingly.
- You immediately say "I don't have time for this", "Don't even go there", or "I don't want to talk about it". If you are truly that crunched for time, or if the topic is too sensitive to talk about at that moment then communicate accordingly. First by stating that you realize that what they have to say is important. Then let them know this moment is not good for you and suggest a time when you will be better able to communicate with them. It might look like this, "I see this is something we need to talk about. I am really tied up right now, but want to give you my full attention. Can we talk in about fifteen minutes?"
Don't take my word for all of this though. Try it out yourself. In fact I dare you to evaluate yourself for one week in your interactions with other people, and with yourself as well as self-validation is just as important.
I know when I first focused on this I was amazed at how much improvement I found I could be making. I'm getting better, but it's still a challenge to "be there" completely for another person, to refrain from going immediately into "fix it" mode and just show acceptance and understanding. But, I've also seen how the people around me relax and have a boost in self worth and self esteem when I take the time to gift them with some extreme validation.
Yes, I believe this is one of the most important keys in creating healthy, happy, and fulfilling relationships. There are eight others that I believe are very important as well that I included in The Golden Key to Unlocking Your Soulmate Relationship. I really think learning to become more emotionally validating is the first step.