If You're Tired of Being Invalidated, Show People This Supportive Statement Graphic
Sometimes the language we use can end up invaliding someone’s internal experience. What is invalidation? Invalidation is when you reject or dismiss someone’s feelings. This can send a message that what the person is feeling is not acceptable.
We may not mean to invalidate someone’s experiences but society does not always teach us how to validate someone when we are trying to support them. We may use colloquial terms such as “don’t worry” or “don’t cry” because it is what we often hear in society. However, society often pressures us be happy and OK all the time. Vulnerability and struggle is not openly talked about enough — so when we support each other, we tend to say things like “it’ll all work out” or “it could be worse.”
When we use these colloquial sayings, we can invalidate what someone is going through.
It is OK not to be OK.
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When we support one another, it is important to let the other person know that you understand them, what they are feeling is OK, and that you are here to listen/help.
To start validating someone, put in the effort to understand where they are coming from. Just listen to them and ask clarification questions. Then let them know you understand how they feel and ask how you can help or let them know that you are here for them.
Sometimes, supporting someone does not mean fixing them or doing anything. It could just be about listening. Even if:
- You do not agree with them
- You do not understand why they are feeling the way they feel
- You have no experience with what they are going through
You can still tell the person that you understand that they are going through a tough time.
To see more of Amy Tran’s work you can follow her on Instagram @DoodledWellness.
Header image via Amy Tran/@DoodledWellness