|To invalidate someone is
to tell them not to feel the way they feel, or to tell
them they shouldn't feel that way, or there is no reason
to feel that way. We might call invalidation the opposite
of understanding and empathy.
Here is an actual example of a discussion between a mentor and a mother when the mentor was introducing the concept of invalidation.
Teacher: Have you ever been crying and
someone said "Don't cry"?
Teacher: Have you ever been worried and
someone said "Don't worry"?
Teacher: Have you ever
been angry and someone said "Don't get angry"?
|We all feel better when
we feel understood. When someone invalidates us we don't
feel understood. Invalidation damages relationships.
Frequent invalidation can damage a person's confidence, creativity and individuality.
Many people who are depressed have reported that people often tell them "You have no reason to be depressed..." Then they tell them all the good things about the person's life. When they do this, they do it with good intentions, but usually it does not help because the depressed person does not feel understood, and they might even feel more alone.