Validating the Person We Love!

Okay so you are in the middle of an argument and you desperately want your partner to understand you, validate you, and agree with you.  But he, she or ze is just as upset as you are and not showing any signs that they are going to validate you.  We all know that when we are invalidated, our arousal goes up and we feel that mixture of hurt, anger, and fear.  Sometimes your reaction would be to run because you are hurt or for fear of further hurt.  And other times you will attack because sometimes fear turns into anger very fast.  Thus, the signs that you are in an invalidation cycle are in full swing.

So now what?  So the first thing we can do is validate ourselves. If you don’t validate yourself, who will.  Identify your own emotions and look for disappointment, hurt, loneliness, and fear.  Remind yourself that it makes sense that you are feeling the way you do when you are in conflict or not being understood.  Next, notice your urges to attack and don’t act on those urges.  Then validate how hard it is to not react in a destructive way when you feel attacked by your partner.  Notice your composure and feel good about your efforts.  Now notice that your emotions and your urge to attack or withdraw are receding a bit.  Remind yourself that this is the person you love and that they love you.  This is a great way to validate that this is hard work and pain is in the service of something important!

Validation holds a lot of promise and not only does it work, it works quickly.  Now, If you can find the courage, after validating yourself, try to validate your partner. If you can validate your partner three times in the middle of an argument, your partner will more than likely stop the attack.  Although not easy, the validation rule of threes has the potential to stop the negative cycle and increase the validation cycle.  Now try it and see if it works!