Hey folks, it's Jordan Harmon compassionate behaviors here,
I want to talk to you about one of the coolest, most powerful skills and concepts I've learned in my practice as a clinical social worker. And that's the, that's the concept of validating the valid. So a lot of people know about validation, it's kind of a form of spoken empathy. And there's different ways of validating, you can validate, just by listening and being present with someone and being awake for what they're saying.
Non verbally and verbally, you can reflect or summarize or kind of actively listen, verbally, you can validate based on what you hear in terms of the emotion that they may be not saying, but you're hearing it in there. And you can say, okay, that's, that sounds really frustrating. Or it sounds like you're really angry about this, or I can tell that this has been really hard for you, or there's a lot of sadness that can naming an emotion or the effect underneath, you can validate based on someone's history, what you know, their history based on kind of just typical, that makes sense that you're feeling this way I would do if I was in your shoes, and just being human and authentic with someone.
So it's harder and harder to validate someone though, when what someone is saying or feeling or doing really, we disagree with strongly, we have a personal reaction to it, or, or in some other way. And and this comes up very often for therapists when you're sitting with someone, and maybe they say something like I'm worthless, or I'd be better off dead. So as a therapist, you're not wanting to agree with that, certainly. And yet, if you tell someone No, you're not, you know, you're better off alive. Sometimes that might help. They might say, Oh, Okay, thanks. But usually, probably not. Usually, they're just gonna say, oh, here's another person who just doesn't understand. So when we invalidating people, we're usually contrasting what they said, We're like giving them a different, we might be trying to problem solve, we might be very well intentioned, trying to help them see the different way. But oftentimes, the person who's needing validation is just feeling invalidated. And they're going to close off to us and, you know, feel more hopeless oftentimes.
So validating the valid is when you're, when you're faced with something that seems invalid, you know, and you really disagree with it. It could be someone being very telling you something hateful about someone else, like a prejudiced or discriminatory statement or anything you can think of that you 100% disagree with the idea of validating the valid as you look for the kernel of truth, even if it's like a particle. And you try to find that, and then reflect that back to them. Without commenting maybe on all the invalid that you saw, you might comment on that as well.
But if you're really focused on validating the valid, you're just going to look for that particle, that kernel of truth. And you're going to highlight that, and you're going to reflect that back to them.
And one way to do it, if if you 100% disagree with what the person said, then you can listen for the effect or the emotion.
And that's something that again, you don't have to agree with what someone is saying, to validate the emotion underneath it. And so if someone says to me, Jordan, I, you know, don't try to tell me differently, my life is worthless, and I would be better off dead. And I should kill myself. Right? I'm not ever going to agree with that.
And can I listen to the emotion underneath what they're saying? What are they What are they feeling or they can hear hopelessness, I can maybe I can hear resoluteness determination. And I might then reflect back I can hear, you're very determined about this. Or I can hear you're very hopeless. Where it sounds like you've had people try to talk you out of this before.
So it none of those validations would be saying, You're right, or let me help you with this, or let me encourage or reinforce this, this belief that you should do this. But it's rather you're reflecting back, this is what I'm hearing, this is what was coming up for, you know, this is what I'm hearing you say, and especially related to maybe emotion or or something there.
And what tends to happen is the person trusts you more. And they say well, and instead of locating the disagreement between or the tension between them and you, because you're you're you're just kind of a witness to it and opening up space for it. Their own ambivalence, their the conflict comes internal. In the part of them that disagrees with themselves usually emerges stronger.
So think of it as a parent. This is really helpful and parents and kids get stuck in these power struggles all the time and parents You know, they have, they typically have some amount of power over their kids. So they can at the end of the day, say because it's my house do to do.
And you know, that works at some level.
But the problem with that is you just kind of set up further power struggles and further resentment. So it works in the short term for a lot of times, but it doesn't, doesn't really help foster agency or kind of individual responsibility or individual motivated choices from from the child. So in a parenting situation, this might come up.
If a child's says, let's say, or I don't, I don't want to do my homework. You know, it's stupid anyway, I don't care what grade I get in the class. Right? A lot of parents would say, Well, too bad. You've got to do your homework. And you've got to do your best to get a good grade, or else dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. And that might work you can you can inspire someone with some some fear or just some strength of will.
Again, though, even if it works, it might not be long term investing.
So if you were trying to validate the valid, and you disagreed, that you weren't Okay, with your child not doing homework, you might stop and listen, okay, I know, they said, I don't want to do my homework. They said, I don't care if I get a bad grade. And then listen, before you react and say, what, what might they be feeling right now. And then just put that back out there, I can tell you're feeling really frustrated at your schoolwork, and what you're expected to do. And see what happens when you just put that out there.
You're not saying I agree, don't do your homework, right?
Agree, you shouldn't try to get good grades, I can tell you're feeling really angry, that you have you're expected to do this stuff. You know, and if you want, if that's too awkward to just say that and walk away, you could just walk away and see what happens. You could say and use that and in there and say Anna care about you. And I hope that things get easier for you. Or I hope that you can figure out a way to do what feels right. But validating the valid, you're really trusting that the person has answers that are healthy within them, and that you're going to respond. You're going to like highlight, again, what's valid, that it's normal for people to feel frustrated, angry, to not like to be forced to do things, that's normal.
So you're just kind of validating that you're you're highlighting that.
And what tends to happen, I've seen it over and over again, is that people when they feel validated, they naturally go towards what is healthy for them much more than when they feel from the outside everything is invalidating them or forcing them or tell telling them they have to change or be something different. So validating the valid is really powerful.
We can do more examples of validating the valid if you have any examples of things that you're like how would I validate this situation? How would I validate that situation? Feel free to put it in the YouTube comments below. And hopefully this is helpful to you. Be good to yourselves and others and take care.
We'll see you later.