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4 points about validation leaders need to understand

2021 podcast Jun 09, 2021

When we are validated in a healthy way, we thrive in all areas of our life. However, when we are gaslighted or invalidated, our self concept is diminished greatly. In this episode of the Better U Leadership Podcast Angela shares 4 points about validation that leaders need to understand.


Validation means that we are acknowledging another person's emotions, thoughts, experiences, values, and beliefs. Validation isn't about agreeing, placating, “fixing” the other person, trying to get someone to change, or repeating back what the other person has said.

Emotional validation is the process of learning about, understanding, and expressing acceptance of another person's emotional experience. Emotional validation is distinguished from emotional invalidation, in which another person's emotional experiences are rejected, ignored, or judged.


A pattern of invalidation is a form of emotional abuse or gaslighting. it's a denial of you or your experience. It implies that you're wrong, overreacting, or lying. Abusers do this to turn things around and blame the victim and deny or minimize their abusive words or actions.

Want to connect with someone?  Responding to someone's an experience, fear, concern, hope, dream, etc. is critical to developing a healthy or unhealthy relationship.


Validating Responses

There are, of course, countless ways to validate. As long as you show the other person that you recognize and accept their emotions, you’re validating:

    • “Wow, that would be confusing.”
    • “He really said that? I’d be angry too!”
    • “Ah, that is so sad.”
    • “You have every right to be proud; that was a major accomplishment!”
    • “I’m so happy for you! You’ve worked incredibly hard on this. It must feel amazing.”

Notice again how each of these responses refers to a specific emotion and shows some justification for or acceptance of it. Including both elements of validation shows the other person that you not only hear them, you understand them.

Invalidating Responses

Invalidating responses are often born out of good intentions, but they do anything but help. An invalidating response is anything that minimizes or dismisses another person’s feelings:

    • “You’ll be fine.”
    • “It could be worse!”
    • “At least it’s not [fill in the blank].”
    • “Just put a smile on your face and tough it out.”
    • “Don’t worry; things will work out.”
  • “It’s not that big of a deal.”

More often than not, these types of responses actually make the situation worse. They suggest that the other person is being irrational and/or “shouldn’t” feel the way they are—the very opposite of how they’re hoping to feel by talking with you. Learn to catch these responses and change them into validating ones, and you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.



Think before you respond. 

Speak to yourself in kindly

Guard yourself from people who invalidate you or your experiences


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