When you validate someone else it can go a long way towards creating understanding. That’s because validation often requires stepping into someone else’s shoes for a moment and seeing the world as they do.
Many valuable tools fall under the overall skill of effective communication. Yet, some of the tools and skills may seem hard to master.
In fact, it’s probably one of the reasons why you sought out DBT therapy—to work on the communication skills evading you.
One of those much-needed skills is validation.
Validation may sound “fluffy” but it’s actually an important tool that can help you to improve your relationships.
Here are four ways how validation can work for you.
1. Create Understanding Between You and Others
One way that validation helps improve your relationships is by creating understanding between you and others.
What may seem to be unrealistic to you is actually their everyday reality. This helps you to form new ways of thinking and viewing how others experience life.
Then, understanding is fostered between you and the other person. Which, of course, helps to improve your relationships.
2. Find Acceptance Through Validation
If you are able to create a better understanding with someone else, you are also able to find acceptance, too.
Validation requires you to be willing to acknowledge that what the other person is saying is true to them. Meaning, you choose not to second-guess them as their perspective is just as valid as yours.
Of course, you are also free to have your perspectives as well. However, by validating someone else’s perspective, you are accepting that their perspectives are meaningful to you.
This can help a great deal in fostering positive communication with others. There are far too many people out there who, sadly, do the opposite and instead discount those perspectives.
3. Allow Yourself to Be More Open
Another way that validation improves your relationships is fostering a sense of openness.
Think about it for a moment. How easy is it to really have positive relationships with other people when you are closed off to them? The answer is, not very easy at all!
By validating others, you open yourself up to a stronger and more meaningful connection to other people. It’s actually quite exciting to experience.
For example, let’s say you travel to a foreign country and immerse yourself in that culture. When you have interactions with other people, you learn about their backgrounds and stories. You acknowledge what they are saying, which allows you to be more open to their lived experiences. It’s part of what makes travel so exciting and rewarding.
4. Improve Your Relationships with Emotional Safety
Finally, validation lets you improve your relationships by creating a greater sense of emotional safety.
When you feel emotionally safe with another person, you know that you can trust them. Also, that they can trust you. This, in turn, allows both of you to be vulnerable and open. That’s because you both know that your relationship is based on emotional safety.
It becomes critically important when one of you experiences a crisis and needs to reach out to someone who “gets it.” Otherwise, you feel lost and alone.
Validation is just one of many DBT communication skills. Yet, it is very necessary to improve your relationships. It requires that you step outside of yourself and see the world as others see it.
A therapist can help you develop this incredible skill. When you validate someone else you are also affirming that their lived reality is just as important as yours or someone else’s.
Please, contact me today, or click here to learn more about how to incorporate validation in your own relationships.
Suffolk DBT proudly provides quality dialectical behavior therapy, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy, at their offices in Manhattan and Long Island, New York and online. Their experienced NYC therapists specialize in serving teens, children, adults, and college students struggling with depression, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, and self-harm. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills and treatment can help you or your kids to manage emotions and work through life’s challenges.