There are some days when you just need a little more validation than other days; occasions in which our confidence is shaken for any number of reasons. I recently had one of those days when I attempted to find a dress for a wedding. Things just aren’t distributed on my body in the same way as they used to be, and trying on dresses (or swimsuits) triggers some uncomfortable, vulnerable shame feelings that don’t usually exist in my day. Some days we just need someone to say, “yeah, me, too” or “ I totally get what you are saying” or “you are normal, and that would be a normal reaction to (fill in the blank).” Validation can be so healing to your soul when you have grown up in a family where people did not talk about feelings. Or, maybe you were constantly told not to feel specific feelings because the feelings were not acceptable, or perhaps you were told how you felt even though you were not feeling what you were told you were feeling. Validation is a powerful way for people to feel better about their circumstances, to have clarity about their circumstances, or to sometimes make a relationship feel safe because it makes people feel empowered to move forward instead of staying stuck. Do you want to be a better friend, spouse, parent or employer? You need to extend validation to the feelings that are being expressed to you before you share your wisdom or thoughts on the matter. People can be empowered in conversation with you because you have validated them, or they can be made to feel powerless in conversation with you because you have invalidated their feelings. There are many aspects to being a good friend and one of them is loving validation. I want to be the person who validates people’s feelings to create bridges of empowerment for people. I want to be the person who says to the 50+ woman struggling with her waning beauty “Yeah, me, too. You are normal.”
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.”