Shame,  Validation

Shame and Invalidation

Here’s a good site about invalidation:

A quote:

“Invalidation is to reject, ignore, mock, tease, judge, or diminish
someone’s feelings. Constant invalidation may be one of the most
significant reasons a person with high innate emotional intelligence
suffers from unmet emotional needs later in life.(1) A sensitive child
who is repeatedly invalidated becomes confused and begins to distrust
his own emotions. He fails to develop confidence in and healthy use of
his emotional brain– one of nature’s most basic survival tools. To
adapt to this unhealthy and dysfunctional environment, the working
relationship between his thoughts and feelings becomes twisted. His
emotional responses, emotional management, and emotional development
will likely be seriously, and perhaps permanently, impaired. The
emotional processes which worked for him as a child may begin to work
against him as an adult. In fact, one defintion of the so-
called “borderline personality disorder” is “the normal response of a
sensitive person to an invalidating environment” (2)  ”

And another quote:

“Telling a person she shouldn’t feel the way she does feel is akin to
telling water it shouldn’t be wet, grass it shouldn’t be green, or
rocks they shouldn’t be hard. Each persons’s feelings are real.
Whether we like or understand someone’s feelings, they are still real.
Rejecting feelings is rejecting reality; it is to fight nature and may
be called a crime against nature, “psychological murder”, or “soul
murder.” Considering that trying to fight feelings, rather than accept
them, is trying to fight all of nature, you can see why it is so
frustrating, draining and futile. A good guideline is:

First accept the feelings, then address the behavior.

One the great leaders in education, Haim Ginott, said this:

Primum non nocere- First do no harm. Do not deny your teenager’s
perception. Do not argue with his experience. Do not disown his

We regularly invalidate others because we ourselves were, and are
often invalidated, so it has become habitual. Below are a few of the
many ways we are invalidated:

We are told we shouldn’t feel the way we feel
We are dictated not to feel the way we feel
We are told we are too sensitive, too “dramatic”
We are ignored
We are judged
We are led to believe there is something wrong with us for feeling how
we feel”

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