To validate someone’s feelings is first to accept someone’s feelings. Next, it is to understand them, and finally it is to nurture them.
To validate is to acknowledge and accept one’s unique identity and individuality. Invalidation, on the other hand, is to reject, ignore, or judge their feelings, and hence, their individual identity.
When we validate someone, we allow them to safely share their feelings and thoughts. We are reassuring them that it is okay to have the feelings they have. We are demonstrating that we will still accept them after they have shared their feelings. We let them know that we respect their perception of things at that moment. We help them feel heard, acknowledged, understood and accepted.
Sometimes validation entails listening, sometimes it is a nod or a sign of agreement or understanding, sometimes it can be a hug or a gentle touch. Sometimes it means being patient when the other person is not ready to talk.
The above is taken from Steve Hein Studies in Emotional Invalidation
I have written much about invalidation and what it is, how it sounds and feels. Now lets focus on warm fuzzies and validation. I accept you, your words, ideas, thoughts and feelings. I do not have to agree with them I accept them. I am building a bridge to you. I am suspending judgement and evaluation to acknowledge you as a person. It is as simple as that. It is the first step, a tiny step at that. What ever comes after this act this small act of I see and hear you and what you are about may have a stronger foundation.