How Validation Can Help in Your Relationships & Difficult Conversations

difficult conversations Jun 11, 2024
Difficult conversations and validation

How do you resolve conversations when it seems you cannot find common ground? When you perhaps keep repeating the same things over and over again but not getting any closer to an agreement or resolution? 

One strategy that might help is validation.

It doesn't mean that you agree with the person; it doesn't need to mean that you accept what they are saying, and you don't even need to like the person in order to be able to validate. 

What does validation mean, then?

It means that you pause, and for a moment, when the other person shares their perspective, experience, feelings, thoughts, or even opinions, you are present with them and intentionally try to understand where they are coming from. You can also share with them what you understand that they are trying to communicate. 

It may sound easy, but especially in an emotionally charged situation, it can be extremely difficult. It may even feel very unnatural at the beginning. It doesn't mean that you would never be able to do that. 

Just like any physical muscle - in order to lift 'heavier weights', we strengthen our muscles by practice and repetition and practicing on 'lighter weights' first. 

Today's mini mental & emotional fitness practice challenge invitation: 

✅ See if today you can try a Validation Practice on 'light weights' so that you can build the 'mental and emotional muscle' of *pausing* before you react back, and really trying to understand before you judge, defend, deflect or argue back. Try to understand before being understood. 

The more you build this mental and emotional muscle or skill, the better you will be able to control your responses even in highly emotionally charged situations, and you will be able to avoid escalation of the conflict, and increase the chances of finding a way forward, and perhaps even finding something new about the situation. And, in your conversations, you can experience, as a result, more understanding, connection, and PEACE - even when you have different perspectives. 

Need some more information and tips on what validation is and some practical examples? Have a listen to this podcast episode (this one is quite short, just slightly over 10 mins) and identify what is at least one thing that you could apply and practice in your conversations today, and get your 'mental fitness reps' in. 

Questions? Comments? Let me or my podcast co-host,  Chris Wong, LMHC, CEC know! Tune in next week to hear validation in practice, where Chris and I role-play a difficult conversation that many of our clients face—two exhausted parents discussing household responsibilities. 

Other ways to listen to the podcast: 

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify Round Youtube Logo Isolated on White Background Editorial ...

Connect with the hosts of the podcast:  
Chris –
Lucie –

🤝 If you have questions or want to share your experiences, feel free to reach out. We’re here to support your journey towards healthier connections.

Are we connected on LinkedIn? Join some of our conversations there! 

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