Validating Feelings: 5 Ways to Make Your Partner Feel Safe

Validating feelings might seem like an easy task to perform, but most people find it difficult to articulate and validate the feelings of their loved ones. It is one of the most important factors in every relationship: parents-kids, husbands-wives, couples, and friends.

Validation is the art of listening to people 1and showing acceptance and understanding of their situation or feelings. It is not agreeing or accepting what the other person is feeling, understanding why, and being there for them in times of difficulty.

Validating feelings is a way to make your partner feel known and heard, and above all, understood. To quote George Orwell, ‘Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.’ It is a way to strengthen the bond of a relationship and show support to the partners emotionally.

In times of despair or stress, when a person feels low or sad and feels dazed, it is preferable to sit with them, listen to them, and validate their feelings.

Validating Feelings – Yuri A on Shutterstock

1. Steps for Validating Feelings

For a happy and healthy relationship, validating your partner’s feelings when they are upset or even happy is an important part that helps in the long run of the relationship.

There are certain steps one should follow to express that they are validating the feelings of their partner. 2They are as follows:

1.1. Listening

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Antonio Guillem on Shutterstock

It is an art to listen to someone without interrupting or intervening. Listening is a skill that most people lack in their relationships. It is one of the strongest parts of communication and understanding. Validating feelings requires listening and perpetual verbal response, for instance, ‘I hear you, Okay, Right,’ and others to make them feel heard.

1.2. Body Language

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Farknot Architect on Shutterstock

Our body language articulates more than verbal words ever could. It is important to have friendly and understanding body language when speaking or expressing their emotions. One should listen attentively to the person speaking, making them feel heard and known. Nodding your head, making eye contact, and holding hands are the way to show validation.

1.3. Ask Questions

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It is important to ask questions to clarify if a person feels dazed and confused about their emotions. Questioning and clarifying help the person in the elaboration of their feelings.

1.4. Empathize with Them

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fizkes on Shutterstock

Validating the feelings of a person is also one of the ways to show empathy. Make them feel normal by saying they are not the only ones feeling the way they are feeling, assure them it gets better with time, and in this way, they feel validated.

1.5. Be Present

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Ivanko80 on Shutterstock

Being present in a situation means completely indulging oneself in a conversation that they are having with a person. It is essential to pay attention and be present when a person is sharing their emotional experience and opening their vulnerable side.

Distraction in conversations leads to disappointment and creates an atmosphere of invalidation. Thus, to validate feelings prevent multi-tasking, and just be present and listen.

2. Statements for Validating Feelings

Validating feelings is not trying to fix a problem of a person or comprehending their feelings, it is just acceptance and saying affirmative statements. Every once in a while, a person’s emotional experience makes them seek validation from their loved ones to feel better.

Here is the list of validating statements that helps people to feel better. They are as follows:

  • I believe in you
  • Tell me more
  • You will get through this
  • We will sort this out
  • I am always there for you
  • I am proud of you
  • I hear you
  • Your feelings do make sense
  • It’s okay
  • It happens
  • Stay Strong
  • You can overcome this
  • I value your emotions
  • I understand you
  • Tell me about your feelings
  • Let’s talk about your day
  • I appreciate you
  • Thank you for being the way you are
  • I love you
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fizkes on Shutterstock

3. Emotional Validation in Relationships

Often people lack the skill of articulation or expression of emotional validation.3 In a relationship, emotional validation is the way to show acceptance and understanding of your partner’s feelings via certain gestures, statements, and actions.

Emotional validation helps in strengthening the bond of a relationship and is important for a healthy and happy relationship. It makes one feel loved, understood, and supported in every phase and experience of their life.

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Motortion Films on Shutterstock

4.  Emotional Invalidation in Relationships

Most of the time we tend to get busy in our lives and get stressed about the problems that we forget to validate our partners’ feelings, love, and responsibilities. Invalidation of the feelings leads to frustration, disappointment, wrong, and guilty of sharing their thoughts and feelings with you, and that can wreck a happy relationship.

Emotional invalidation is the denial and rejection of one’s feelings. It gives out that one’s feeling is insignificant. It affects the mental health of a person and can sabotage relationships.

Invalidation of feelings is a kind of emotional abuse that people sometimes unknowingly do and that results in disappointments and fights, the person sharing their vulnerabilities feels doubtful, guilty, and confused opening up to their partner about their emotional traumas or experiences.

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fizkes on Shutterstock

The most common reasons for invalidation in relationships are that some people lack empathy, compassion, love, affection, articulation of emotions, and the importance of validating feelings.

Some people unknowingly or unintentionally invalidate feelings that impact the mental health of a person and they end up feeling rejected, ignored, and judged by their partners.

Here is the list of things that couples often say in a relationship that shows their invalidation of feelings. They are as follows:

  • It could be worse
  • Don’t be too sensitive
  • You must be overthinking
  • I am sorry for you feeling that way
  • You should move on
  • It is not a big deal
  • I am hearing the same thing
  • Well, it could be worse
  • You are the reason that happened
  • You are wasting your time thinking about it
  • You should let it go

These are just some statements that people often say which is directly an emotional invalidation and that also adds up to emotional abuse.

5. The Bottom Line

A relationship is all about emotional validation, support, care, affection, communication, trust, and understanding. With no validation of feelings, it is not worth staying in that relationship.

Validating feelings is of utmost importance in maintaining a happy and healthy relationship. Once we start validating g feelings of our partner, it gets easy to do it often and it makes life easy.

Infographic That Expalins The 7 Signs of Emotional Manipulation In A Relationship
Icy Health
  1. Nichols, Michael P., and Martha B. Straus. Lost Art of Listening. Guilford Publications, 2021. ↩︎
  2. Birnbaum, Gurit E. “The enticement of feeling understood, validated, and cared for: How does perceiving a partner as responsive affect the sexual arena?.” Current Opinion in Psychology (2023): 101594. ↩︎
  3. Maul, Andrew. “The validity of the Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) as a measure of emotional intelligence.” Emotion Review 4.4 (2012): 394-402. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf



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