Invalidating environment

Posted by / 15-Oct-2020 14:50

If you’re dealing with strong emotion vulnerability, you can get to the point where you are able to step back (even at high speeds and in turbulent conditions), observe and notice how you’re feeling, and accept, experience, or regulate your emotions.

Regarding self-invalidation, I think of this as much like a well-worn path in the woods.

Your brain is used to invalidating your feelings, in fact so used to it that the invalidation path is easy to see, well-groomed, and well-marked.

Learning the opposite – to validate yourself – can take some help and a lot of practice.

Harshly invalidating and criticizing yourself might sometimes work temporarily to jolt you out of unwanted emotional experiences but the cost in terms of long-term personal suffering, shame, self-hate and inwardly-directed anger are not worth this meagre and inconsistent short-term benefit. Well, one starting point is to try to improve your ability to notice, understand, accept, and regulate your emotions.

This is the focus of the emotion regulation skills in DBT (see Linehan, 2015), and DBT therapists often look for opportunities to help clients understand, experience, and regulate their emotions.

If you’re working with a therapist, you can seek help figuring out how to self-validate, and the question I find most helpful is: How does it make sense that I’m feeling this emotion right now?

Validating yourself won’t take away your emotions, but it is an act of kindness and understanding that will likely make them easier to bear.

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. Let's look at the facts." Businesses, for example, and "professionals" are traditionally out of balance towards logic at the expense of emotions. As a parent I want to teach my kids these things I’ve learned.

A good guideline is: People with high IQ and low EQ tend to use logic to address emotional issues. This tends to alienate people and diminish their potential. So when they felt bad or angry I tried to help them find a way to make themselves feel better.

Harnessing all of that emotional power and complexity takes work and training.

Other people have emotional systems that are more like family sedans with automatic transmission, where very little skill is required to get from place to place safely.

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) A sensitive child who is repeatedly invalidated becomes confused and begins to distrust his own emotions. A person with well-developed emotional intelligence, a healthy set of emotional skills, empathy, and a healthy self-esteem will rarely invalidate another person's feelings, especially not the feelings of a sensitive child.