Without invalidating

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There is little empathy in saying “I'm sorry if not having the car tonight makes you feel bad”.

It's much more empathetic to say "Wow, after telling your friends that you would drive everyone to the movie tonight, I can really understand how embarrassing not having the car is".

As the healthier family member, it falls to us to try to achieve some level of working validation in the relationship - to lead.

That often means that we need to be very conscious of the pw BPD high validation needs and try to provide for them in a healthy and constructive way.

Let's first look at the importance of being true and authentic to ourselves.

If we can't be true and authentic, we are sacrificing ourselves for the benefit of another, and we are most likely enabling another person's dysfunction. For these reasons, validation is never about lying, it is not about being ruled by the emotions of others, and it is not letting people "walk all over us". Validating someone's thoughts, feelings, or beliefs does not necessarily mean we agree, overall, with what they are thinking, or feeling, or with their behavior. An ideal target is one that is close to the other person's emotional epicenter.

And all of this may be further complicated by the fact that we are tired, frustrated, fearful, or holding onto resentments.

Very few people come to this naturally - it is a learned skill.

In these situations, it can be difficult to find something to validate while remaining true and authentic to ourselves.

It can be even more difficult to find the motivation to counter our own emotional instincts and our proclivity to reject, ignore, or judge.

We are often more aware of not being listened to (heard) than of our own shortfalls of not listening to others.

We may be reacting and resentful ourselves to a lack of being validated. In a "BPD family" there are going to be validation issues.

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