Almost two years ago, I wrote about resisting the need for validation when doing God’s will. The context for validation was the need for support or approval from others concerning what God gave you to do. However, now I’m going to speak of the importance of validation, and it comes from a different context.
In the process of building relationships, it’s inevitable that friction will occur between imperfect people as we deal with each other in our lives. Personalities clash, wrong perceptions can arise, and many other things can trigger disagreements and even arguments. When this happens, it can either get resolved and strengthen the relationship or destroy it, depending on the character of those involved and the habits established.
I believe that one of the most important factors in relating with other people is the ability to validate the feelings of others. I’m not saying to agree that someone is right at all times even when they’re wrong, but I am saying that there are times that it helps when we acknowledge how the other person is feeling in order for the person to be heard and feel valued.
When we are dismissive of someone’s feelings, it doesn’t make for a healthy relationship between you and the other person involved. It makes it very difficult to be vulnerable towards a person who lacks the capacity or is unwilling to acknowledge how others are feeling. In order to validate the feelings of another, we have to be empathetic, sensitive, and emotionally aware within ourselves. Another way to say it is we need to be emotionally intelligent.
This is very important as we grow and mature in life because human relationships are layered, complex, and dynamic, and as we experience life in this world, we will all change. It’s even more difficult when it’s time to validate the feelings of someone who disagrees with you, because the tendency is for us to think that we’re in the right. But if we’re able to examine how someone else is feeling, even if they are wrong, they’re able to walk away knowing that you valued them in the end.
As difficult as this is in the context of disagreements, it is important that we learn the value of validation so that we maintain healthy relationships with people when we disagree. You’re able to see the value of the relationships in your life when you go through conflict and disagreement because the relationships that are solid will endure and are deeply rooted.
So how well do you think you are in validating the feelings of others? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!