Have you ever wished you were more in tune with other people’s emotions? Have you ever felt that you are at risk of making someone feel guilty about their feelings, no matter how hard you try? Have you ever been afraid of invalidate feelings from someone else?
An integral part of having healthy relationships is forming an emotional connection. It would be helpful if you related to people, understood them and were empathic. But sometimes, it’s impossible to know the best way to comfort someone. Sometimes you have so much on your mind that the last thing you want to do is act like a therapist.
Because of how crazy your own life can be, you are often at risk of ignore other people’s emotions. The risk of entering a situation in which invalidate the opinions of others It is very high. Most people invalidate the feelings of others by mistake. Some do it because they are malicious.
What is emotional invalidation?
Emotional invalidation is the act of discarding or rejecting thoughtss and someone’s feelings. It is a process through which someone feels that what they do, who they are, and what they experience is unimportant. When this type of behavior is directed at you, it leaves a mark.
Emotional validation is what makes people feel safe in a relationship. It is also vital to facilitate communication between people. When someone feels that their emotions are validated, that they are seen and heard, they will break down their walls.
This creates a deeper connection between people. Emotional validation is one of the most important things parents can do to properly raise their children..
In most cases, people unintentionally invalidate the feelings of others. They do it because they are not listening or because they are worried about their problems. People often invalidate the emotions of others because they can’t process what the other is feeling.
But sometimes people use the emotional invalidation as a manipulation tactic. They might do this to make you question your feelings and your sanity.
5 things that invalidate the feelings of others
Regardless of how kind or malicious your intention is, here are five things to will invalidate someone’s feelings and how to avoid them.
Trying to downplay an occurrence
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re trying to comfort someone, it might seem like a good idea to downplay events. It seems normal to make the other person believe that what has happened is not so bad. But this attitude is very unhealthy.
If someone trusts you, they want you to be understanding. They don’t want you to minimize their pain. This attitude marginalizes someone’s pain and imposes a toxic positivity on them. Often this happens because people are uncomfortable talking about feelings, especially negative ones.
It’s hard to sit across from someone and get them to talk about their struggles. This is why people sometimes ignore the feelings of others. They think they will go.
If you ever said things like “it could be worse,” you weren’t helping anyone. You were downplaying what they’ve been through. In most cases, statements like this cause negative feelings to be amplified. When someone is hurt, isolated, or rejected, the last thing they want to hear is that they should be thankful that something worse didn’t happen.
Instead of minimizing and ignoring the emotions of others, you must understand that all pain must be addressed accordingly. Just because it could have been worse doesn’t mean the person you’re talking to isn’t hurt.
Try to be understanding and listen. What matters is how that person feels, not how you think they should feel. The fact that this situation does not seem wrong to you does not mean that it is not bad for them.
Being frivolous can invalidate feelings
Sometimes people ask you for help at the most inopportune moments. No matter how much you want to help someone, you have your stuff to deal with.
If someone complains about their problems dealing with your own difficult things, you will naturally become dismissive. You could start to have a frivolous attitude towards that person.
While this attitude may seem justified, it invalidates other people’s emotions. No matter what you’re dealing with, that’s no excuse for a flippant attitude. It’s much better to tell people that you can’t help them right now than to help them halfway.
Disregarding people’s emotions makes them feel emotionally repressed and left out. If you act like this with someone, you run the risk of alienating him. They may distance themselves from you and shut themselves away.
It may seem easier to tell someone to “just get over it”, you should always try to show kindness. Try to be empathetic and understand that the people who approach you need your help. If you can’t offer them that support, the least you can do is not make them feel bad about how they think.
Not paying attention to others
Sometimes it can be hard to read people. But even if the people around you don’t tell you they’re suffering, that doesn’t mean they’re not fighting something. One of the worst ways you can invalidate the feelings of others it is not paying attention to them.
When someone is around you, they expect you to know when they are feeling down. And when you can’t do that, they feel hurt and betrayed. Although it is not your responsibility to discover every little thing that hurts someone, you should pay attention to the signs. When someone is feeling down, many signs can let you know something with someone.
When you ignore peopleYou make them feel that they are not vital to you. It makes them think that they are not important enough to you for you to notice that they are going through something. Sometimes not paying attention to others doesn’t even mean ignoring them. It means you give unsolicited advice or accidentally say hurtful things.
You may not want to invalidate someone’s feelings in this way. But it can still happen very often because you are distracted. You should always make an effort to ask the people around you how they are doing. Try to observe them and look for any signs that may indicate that they are not well. And, if you want to say something, make sure you’re not being insensitive.
Blaming others can invalidate feelings
When someone trusts you, you may be inclined to try to teach them a lesson. This often happens because you want them to know how to avoid getting into that situation again. But, most of the time, scolding someone makes them feel guilty for no reason.
When you see that someone is hurt, your first instinct might be to find a solution as quickly as possible. Because of this, you can start talking and speak without listening to what the other person has to say. While this attitude stems from concern, it can quickly turn into lecture.
And, when people are given lessons, they quickly become defensive. You could inadvertently corner them and make them feel like they have to defend their actions. It may seem like you are blaming them.
If someone is a victim in a situation, you never want them to feel like they brought that on themselves. But by scolding and blaming them, that is what you will do. You never want to come across as preachy or critical. It would be better if you listen to what the other has to say before you start lecturing him. Try to offer empathy and understand where it comes from. Otherwise, you will shut down the person listening to what you have to say.
When it comes to comforting someone, it may seem beneficial to respond to their emotions by sharing your feelings. Taking an abstract concept like feelings and comparing it to a concrete experience might seem like a good idea. In theory, you should make it more accessible and easier to deal with. But comparisons are just another way of invalidate what other people feel.
Comparisons are bad because they focus on that person’s feelings and move them to something else. You even risk making the conversation just about you.
When it comes to a person who is suffering, changing the focus of them and their problems will make them feel unimportant. A statement as innocent as “something like that happened to me too” can make them feel ignored. It’s like their problem isn’t important enough to you on its own. It has to be associated with something in your life.
At least comparing their situation to something that happened to you comes from a place of kindness. But you can make worse comparisons than that. Saying something like “others have it much worse” will minimize what they go through.
Such comparisons further invalidate their feelings. No matter how much you think it could get worse, you should always focus on his problem if you want to help him. Try to be empathetic and understanding because all problems are important, no matter how big or small.