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Author Topic: 1.12 | Validation - examples  (Read 8363 times)
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« on: March 11, 2010, 07:43:11 PM »

Getting back to examples... .can someone chose a scenario and try to form a emotional validating response.

#1 - you don't love me

#2 - I saw you looking at her

#3 - You forgot to take the garbage out again. Why do I always have to do everything?

#4 - You make me so mad!

#5 - Why are you late?

#6 - I don't think I can go on anymore

Remember. Don't defend, don't deny, don't justify


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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2010, 08:42:35 PM »

#1 - you don't love me

     Hmm... .sucks you are feeling like that. Wanna talk more about that?

#2 - I saw you looking at her/him

          I did.

#3 - You forgot to take the garbage out again. Why do I always have to do everything?

       Ack, I did forget. Im sorry. Thanks for handling that for me! You saved my butt on that one Smiling (click to insert in post)

#4 - You make me so mad!

      Yea, I do make you mad sometimes. Need to blow off some steam? Want to take a walk with me?

#5 - Why are you late?

           Im sorry. I should have called.

#6 - I don't think I can go on anymore

        Hey, I am not sure what you mean. Need to talk awhile?
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 08:55:00 PM »

#1 - you don't love me

     Oh honey, why do you think that?

#2 - I saw you looking at her/him

          Yes, I did look over at him at dinner, what are you thinking?

#3 - You forgot to take the garbage out again. Why do I always have to do everything?

       Oops, I am sorry. I know that I forgot and I will try to remember next time.

#4 - You make me so mad!

       I do? What is it that you are upset about? Want to talk about it?

#5 - Why are you late?

         (question - why can't you answer why you are late?)

        Sorry baby, I will call next time.

#6 - I don't think I can go on anymore

       What do you mean?
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2010, 09:00:17 PM »

Herewith, emotionally validating responses! Smiling (click to insert in post) Not necessarily what I'd say in my situation with my partner, but clear, solid, official plain emotional validation.

#1 - you don't love me

Wow, that must suck, to feel like I don't love you. You must be hurting.

#2 - I saw you looking at her

I get that it bothers you when you feel I'm noticing other women. Jealousy is a normal response.

#3 - You forgot to take the garbage out again. Why do I always have to do everything?

I hear you. I know how much it sucks to feel like you're always the one who has to do everything.

#4 - You make me so mad!

I totally get that you're mad. I'm hearing you, and I get that's where you're coming from.

#5 - Why are you late?

I don't blame you for being pissed off that I'm late.

#6 - I don't think I can go on anymore

Life is really hard sometimes--I totally hear what you're saying.


Peacebaby




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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2010, 06:22:06 AM »

Validating Responses... .

#1- You don't love me

- Wow, you must feel terrible to think that way... .Hey, lets do something romantic tonight.  We'll order in and we can snuggle up in front of the fireplace.  Just you and me and no distractions.

#2 - I saw you looking at her.

-  Aaaww, you seem a little jealous... .You know I find you amazing.

#3- You forgot to take the garbage out again. Why do I always have to do everything?

- You seem really busy.  What do you have left to do?  Maybe we can work on it together and then we both can relax.

#4 - You make me so mad!

- Yeah, I can see that you are really angry.  Let's talk about it in a little while.

#5 - Why are you late?

- I'm sorry for running late.  I can see that you are feeling a little upset with me.

#6 - I don't think I can go on anymore

- Wow, you sound really down in the dumps.  What's wrong?  Something not go your way today?

Codependent Responses... .

#1- You don't love me

- That's not true.  I love you more than anything.  What can I do to prove my love to you?

#2 - I saw you looking at her.

-  You know that I only have eyes for you.  No one is as pretty as you are.  I am so lucky that you are in my life.

#3- You forgot to take the garbage out again. Why do I always have to do everything?

- I'm sorry I was just going to do it.  Is there anything else you need me to do?

#4 - You make me so mad!

- I'm sorry.  What can I do to make it up to you.  Want me to put a DVD in and I can give you a foot massage to relax you?

#5 - Why are you late?

- I'm sorry.  It won't happen again.  I was picking up a gift for you and it took longer than I thought.

#6 - I don't think I can go on anymore

- No don't say that.  What would I do without you.  I can't live without you.


Invalidating Responses... .

#1- You don't love me

- Pfffth.  That's not true.  I am still married to you aren't I?  That must say something.

#2 - I saw you looking at her.

-  No I wasn't.  I was just thinking about something and didn't notice her till you pointed her out.

#3- You forgot to take the garbage out again. Why do I always have to do everything?

- What do you mean everything?  I worked all day.  Besides I took the garbage out yesterday.

#4 - You make me so mad!

- How can I make you mad when I've been at work all day and just walked in the door?

#5 - Why are you late?

- Bah, whaddaya mean late?  Five minutes is hardly late.

#6 - I don't think I can go on anymore

- Go have a nap.  You will be fine when you wake up.

Deathwish Responses... .

#1- You don't love me

- You got that right.  You are lucky I haven't divorced you yet.

#2 - I saw you looking at her.

-  Yeah did you see the cans on her.  How bout you get a job and buy yourself a boob job.

#3- You forgot to take the garbage out again. Why do I always have to do everything?

- Who makes the money around here so you can buy your fancy clothes?  Bout time you did something around here.

#4 - You make me so mad!

- On the rag again? Isn't that like for the 3rd time this month?

#5 - Why are you late?

- I had to give a new secretary at work a ride home.  She showed me her new place and it took longer than I thought.

#6 - I don't think I can go on anymore

- Since you are up can you grab me a beer?  The game just started.

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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2010, 03:34:06 PM »

Here is my attempt to translate the statements into the emotions behind the "facts"

BPD Translator... .

#1 - You don't love me

- I am feeling neglected and feel I am not getting enough attention from you.

#2 - I saw you looking at her.

-  I am feeling insecure/fearful that you don't want to be with me any more but would rather be with that person across the room. Leaving me alone.

#3- You forgot to take the garbage out again. Why do I always have to do everything?

- I am overwhelmed by my emotions with nothing in its proper place or anything done properly.  Everything is wrong and I can't handle it.

#4 - You make me so mad!

- I am so angry and it must be your fault that I feel this way.

#5 - Why are you late?

- I am feeling insecure that you were never going to come home and abandon me forever.  What would I do then?

#6 - I don't think I can go on anymore

- I am so depressed and desperately need to change the way I feel.  Please change the way I feel about myself. I beg you.

When you validate properly... .you are talking to the emotions behind the statements to soothe the emotions that manifest themselves in words.  Emotions are not right or wrong... .they just are.

I suppose the difficulty comes in when the same words are sometimes used as an expression of emotions and sometimes used as an expression of logic. 

In dados case, sometimes his partner is talking in logic and becomes frsutrated when the response is addressing emotions rather than facts that he was looking for which then trigger an emotional response.  Complicated stuff do get right all the time. 

This brings to mind the adage: Less is more.
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2010, 01:26:41 PM »

Excerpt
Here is my attempt to translate the statements into the emotions behind the "facts"

Just wanted to say, you did a great job of that, Firefighter.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Figure out what the emotion is behind the statement and validate the emotion and only the emotion.

Peacebaby
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2010, 08:00:56 AM »

Emotional validation is a way to show that you are trying to understand how they feel. You won't always get it right, since they aren't the best at communicating it to us. They don't have the emotional vocabulary to tell you.

Another way to think of validation is that you are offering reassurance.

Reassurance that what they are feeling makes sense...

Reassurance that it's possible others feel in similar ways... .

Reassurance that you understand what they are trying to say... .

Reassurance that that there could be some truth to what they feel... .

Reassurance that you share their concerns with them (empathy)

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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 08:45:19 AM »

During times when negativity and complaints from my wife spew frequently to me and our children- her tone sounding angry, frustrated, irritated, a louder than regular speaking voice or belligerent, all within the course of one evening when the day was pleasant- and creating stress for our 7 week and 2 yr old-

Is it invalidating to not validate every single comment? How should I handle this? I'd like to be able to help our kids feel less stress and ridicule. It just seems so unnecessary. Most of her irritations seem to be things that resolve themselves with little need for assistance or attention. Just to name a few:

“you dropped your airplane,

you're stepping on your airplane,

don't tilt your sippy cup so much,

if you don't stop dropping your food you won't get any Easter candy,

this rocking chair is in my way,

you're chewing too loud,

the grass needs to be mowed,

his clothes don't match,

none of my clothes fit,

you bought too much food and it won't fit in the cabinet,

you didn't buy enough food,

the TV is too loud,"

I can handle more stressors than most people but this kind of frequency makes me feel pretty freakin' crazy.

OK. After reading this I think I could say: "honey, you seem really overwhelmed right now, why don't I take the kids for a drive and give you some peace for a while" or "You're pretty overloaded right now."

But, when I have done this before, she gets more upset and the complaining and loudness and accusations become more intense when our children are already sort of freaked out. - especially when we are in the car together.

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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2010, 05:26:43 PM »

Hello all  

I have noticed that there are many new comers to staying now and many have not grasped the concept of validation yet.

Thats Ok! It is pretty tricky at first.

So lets practice and go over some lessons.


When we validate the goal is to hear what they are saying and try to understand, and even let them know it makes sense that they feel as they do.

People with BPD are highly skilled at reading people around them. Their interpretations may not be correct... or they might be.

When you tell your loved one how they SHOULD be feeling, in their mind, you are calling them bad/wrong/stupid and, in their minds, it feels abusive.

*Don't defend

*Don't explain

*Don't attempt to justify

*Don't counter attack

Why we validate:

*You are validating that you understand them.

*That you accept they have a right to their feelings. Even if you don't agree with them.

*That it is a reasonable possibility, and that others would feel the same way.

*That you have empathy for them (a true connection with what they are going through).

*That there is a kernel of truth to what they are expressing.

*That they have a legitimate right to feel as they do.

Validation creates a bond between two people, where the person speaking feels really listened to and heard. It increases acceptance and decreases conflict.

Especially important, it builds trust and intimacy, and establishes you as a safe and respectful person.

Acknowledge the other person's feelings

Identify the feelings - sad, frustrated, blocked, unheard, lonely, depressed

Offer to listen (see EQ-Based Listening)

Help them label the feelings

Be there for them; remaining present physically and emotionally - don't multi task or plan what your response

Feel patient - allow them to express themselves fully

Feel accepting and non-judgmental - don't label them as bad or wrong or crazy


Real World Examples: Ok everyone give a response to each of these and we can go over them. We all need to understand what validation really is. Many think they are validating when they are doing the opposite and then say this doesn't work.

Scenarios... .some of these are real from staying:

#1  "you're always working. Why are you always working? Don't you realize that I need help around here too? If you were home more often you would see that I have a hard time handling things here by myself."

#2  "That driver just cut me off! What an idiot! Some people shouldn't have drivers licenses! Let's see how he likes it when I do it to him!" Your BP is very angry and becoming an aggressive driver, scaring you.

#3  "That kid is so lazy. Look at her room!  Stuff is just tossed everywhere. Why can't she learn to pick up her stuff? Why is it so hard for her to do the right thing?"

#4  'I can't believe you always make me turn down the 'insert noisy instrument here'!  I thought you were cool - yer just like everyone else who's always making me turn my music down!'  

#5  " I didn't sit with her on the bleachers at the game. she says:  I don't feel connected with you, "I don't know why you don't want to talk to me/be with me".

#6  "My daughter calls and asks to spend the night and I say yes. I tell H she is spending the night. He is mad beyond imagination. Crazy mad.  He says, "how old are the brothers?, why didn't you ask me? I'm so angry with you."


Ok Who is first?




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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2010, 08:29:42 PM »

OK - I really need practice so this becomes automatic for me - and one of these is from something I posted so here I go!

#1  "you're always working. Why are you always working? Don't you realize that I need help around here too? If you were home more often you would see that I have a hard time handling things here by myself."

I know it's really annoying that I have to go to work every day and I know that running a household is a really tough job.  I think you do a really amazing job and maybe we can talk about some of the things that I can help with when I am at home.

#2  "That driver just cut me off! What an idiot! Some people shouldn't have drivers licenses! Let's see how he likes it when I do it to him!" Your BP is very angry and becoming an aggressive driver, scaring you.

Not mine, but might as well be!

Lessee... .

Honey - he's definitely driving like a maniac and it's totally obvious.  Can you please try to remain calm - remember when you got the ticket for driving just a little slower than the guy speeding in front of you?  You don't want him to drive like an ass and get you in trouble for it as well!

#3  "That kid is so lazy. Look at her room!  Stuff is just tossed everywhere. Why can't she learn to pick up her stuff? Why is it so hard for her to do the right thing?"

Her room is a total mess it's true and it's unsettling to look at it.  She's probably oblivious to how it makes us feel - teenagers are in their own world - but one day when she has people besides her parents to impress she'll get it together.  There may not be anything we can do about this now.

#4  'I can't believe you always make me turn down the 'insert noisy instrument here'!  I thought you were cool - yer just like everyone else who's always making me turn my music down!' 

OK - this one is mine... .

And I didn't get it right in practice.

So - let's try again.

Baby - I know how passionate you are about music - and that's really annoying that everyone always made you turn it down before and I might not have been clear about what I needed.  I'm happy for you to play, I really want to hear it - I just happened to be on the phone just then and even your acoustic guitar is pretty loud, so I needed you to give me a minute before you got started.  Please play me that song that I love, k?

#5  " I didn't sit with her on the bleachers at the game. she says:  I don't feel connected with you, "I don't know why you don't want to talk to me/be with me".

I'm not sure I get the whole scenario here, but lemme try... .

I'm sure it was annoying that I didn't sit with you.  I really do love spending time with you and I want to go do something, just the two of us, alone without all those people around.

#6  "My daughter calls and asks to spend the night and I say yes. I tell H she is spending the night. He is mad beyond imagination. Crazy mad.  He says, "how old are the brothers?, why didn't you ask me? I'm so angry with you."

OK - so daughter is spending the night at another place I'm guessing with boys there?

H may not be at a point where you can validate away a freak out - knowing how my h is when there is already anger... .but let's give it a shot... .

I understand that you are upset with me for not discussing this with you first - we should really be a united front when it comes to parenting.  I did have to make a decision right when she called because it was getting late and the parents are definitely home.  If you'd like to give them a call to check in I have their number.

That's my go at these - thanks for the practice!

lovelee



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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2010, 09:24:50 PM »

Alright, I guess I'll be the first to take a crack at it!

#1  "you're always working. Why are you always working? Don't you realize that I need help around here too? If you were home more often you would see that I have a hard time handling things here by myself."

It must be difficult to handle all the housework by yourself.

#2  "That driver just cut me off! What an idiot! Some people shouldn't have drivers licenses! Let's see how he likes it when I do it to him!" Your BP is very angry and becoming an aggressive driver, scaring you.

I can't believe some people get their license. Maybe we should go get a coffee and let the traffic die down a bit.

#3  "That kid is so lazy. Look at her room!  Stuff is just tossed everywhere. Why can't she learn to pick up her stuff? Why is it so hard for her to do the right thing?"

It i s difficult trying to get a child to clean her room. Do you think a set schedule might help?

#4  'I can't believe you always make me turn down the 'insert noisy instrument here'!  I thought you were cool - yer just like everyone else who's always making me turn my music down!'  

I am cool, just shut yer darn music off! Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

It's tough living in an apartment and playing musical instruments.

#5  " I didn't sit with her on the bleachers at the game. she says:  I don't feel connected with you, "I don't know why you don't want to talk to me/be with me".

It's tough not to feel connected.

#6  "My daughter calls and asks to spend the night and I say yes. I tell H she is spending the night. He is mad beyond imagination. Crazy mad.  He says, "how old are the brothers?, why didn't you ask me? I'm so angry with you."

I can see the frustration of not being consulted.

This is definitely an area to work on. Thanks for bringing this up  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2010, 04:26:19 AM »

#1  "you're always working. Why are you always working? Don't you realize that I need help around here too? If you were home more often you would see that I have a hard time handling things here by myself."

Doing all the home work by yourself must be exhausting. I understand you want me here more often to give a hand. How about a to do list for me in order to help you?

#2  "That driver just cut me off! What an idiot! Some people shouldn't have drivers licenses! Let's see how he likes it when I do it to him!" Your BP is very angry and becoming an aggressive driver, scaring you.

My Husband is dangerous when he drives and often starts raging at me or other drivers and turns against me so... let's try... .

What a crazy thing to do! He could have caused an accident! Sweetheart, please don't imitate him.

#3  "That kid is so lazy. Look at her room!  Stuff is just tossed everywhere. Why can't she learn to pick up her stuff? Why is it so hard for her to do the right thing?"

Kids are a bit messy sometimes. Indeed she needs to understand that it is her duty to keep her room clean. Any idea how we could solve the problem?

#4  'I can't believe you always make me turn down the 'insert noisy instrument here'!  I thought you were cool - yer just like everyone else who's always making me turn my music down!' 

It is nice to listen to music out loud and I wish we could do it. The problem is the neighbours. How can we listen to music the way we like it and at the same time be respecful of our neighbours.

Not sure this helps, a little bit coward here as I use the neighbours... .

#5  " I didn't sit with her on the bleachers at the game. she says:  I don't feel connected with you, "I don't know why you don't want to talk to me/be with me".

You feel i don't want to be with you and connect with you. This must be hurtful feeling. How about telling me more about your needs and see how i can respond to them so you feel less lonely.

#6  "My daughter calls and asks to spend the night and I say yes. I tell H she is spending the night. He is mad beyond imagination. Crazy mad.  He says, "how old are the brothers?, why didn't you ask me? I'm so angry with you."

Not sure I understand what's happening here.

You are terribly upset as I did not ask you. Sometimes I rush to take a decision and forget about how you might feel about it. Can we talk about this and see how we could manage things better in the future.

Here i have the time to think, even if i make mistakes, there is no one to yell at me... .
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2010, 11:53:48 AM »

There is a link to a validation video in Lesson 3.  The video is excellent and I really had trouble understanding validation until I watched it.  

The vodeo describes several "validating responses" which could be any of the following:

1.  Listening and paying attention to the person speaking. (make eye contact and give full attention to speaker).

2.  Verbally acknowledging the other person's points. ("I see your point" or "I see where you are coming from." "OK" "Uh-huh" nodding head).

3.  Working to Understand/Asking Questions ("I want to understand, can you tell me why exactly feel so angry?"

4.  Expressing understaning in context/normalizing responses ("Of course you are upset that driver is dangerous!"

5.  Treating others as competent and not fragile (Don't solve their problems/clean their messes--we tend to treat this one as a boundary issue more than validation).

6.  Matching with your own vulnerability ("Me too."  "I feel the same way."

7.  With appropriate action.  (Like getting a blanket for someone who says "I feel cold."

All of these can be validating responses and the appropriate method of validation depends on the situation.

The hardest time to validate is when the topic of conversation is something I supposedly did wrong and feel under assault.  So for me, this one:

Excerpt
#6  "My daughter calls and asks to spend the night and I say yes. I tell H she is spending the night. He is mad beyond imagination. Crazy mad.  He says, "how old are the brothers?, why didn't you ask me? I'm so angry with you."

is much harder to validate than this one:

Excerpt
#2  "That driver just cut me off! What an idiot! Some people shouldn't have drivers licenses! Let's see how he likes it when I do it to him!" Your BP is very angry and becoming an aggressive driver, scaring you.

In the first scenario (#6) I probably don't agree with the reasons my partner is so "crazy mad" at me.  But in the second scenario (#2), I probably completely understand why my partner is so angry, but I disagree with how he is reacting to his anger.

So, in the first scenario, I have fewer validating responses to choose from.  All I can do is (1) listen, (2) acknowledge feelings and points, and (3) ask questions.  In the second scenario, because I agree with the "facts" (getting cut off in traffic) driving the emotion (anger), I have all of the validating responses available to me.

When we disagree with the facts, it's a mistake to validate those facts (Saying "Of course you're mad at me, I should have asked about the brothers' ages!  How stupid of me, I'll go pick D up right now!" is mistake).

Doing the things on the list above is validation, just about anything else is not.  Reminding someone of their ticket, or explaining how we need to respect our neighbors, or understand teenagers, is probably not validation and will lead to disputes.   


You're always working and never see how hard it is for me to do everything around here.

You seem stressed out.  Did you need me for something today?

That driver cut me off.  Let's see how he likes it.

Wow, what a jerk!  Of course it would be great to get a little pay back.  Do you think it's a good idea though?

That kid is so lazy, look at her room!

It is a mess.  I'm not happy about this either. We need to address this.  I'm curious what you think the best way to handle this might be?

I can't believe you want me to turn down the volume on my bagpipes!

I can see you're not happy I asked you to turn the down the bagpipes.  I know you like to listen to it at a higher volume than me.  Do you think we can set aside some specific times during the day for you to practice?

You didn't sit with me on the blechers.  I don't feel connected with you.  You're probably sleeping with that lady you sat next to, aren't you!

I can see this is a very upsetting subject.  I would be upset too if I thought you were cheating on me.  We need to talk about this when things calm down.

I can't believe you let her spend the night with out asking me!

You seem very angry.  Is there a reason you are concerned about the brothers' ages?

With some of these examples, boundaries may also come into play, but I focused on the validation only.





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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2010, 12:03:45 PM »

Excerpt

1  "you're always working. Why are you always working? Don't you realize that I need help around here too? If you were home more often you would see that I have a hard time handling things here by myself."
Excerpt

Are you feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated? Can you  tell me more about that?


Excerpt

#3  "That kid is so lazy. Look at her room!  Stuff is just tossed everywhere. Why can't she learn to pick up her stuff? Why is it so hard for her to do the right thing?"
Excerpt

Sounds like you are pretty frustrated with our son/daughter.  It is reasonable to want our child to take personal responsibility for his/her stuff. I am frustrated also.

Excerpt

#4  'I can't believe you always make me turn down the 'insert noisy instrument here'!  I thought you were cool - yer just like everyone else who's always making me turn my music down!'
Excerpt




Sounds like you are angry that I requested you turn your music down.  I can understand that the volume is an important part of your experience when practicing your instrument.  Would a pair of plug in earphones give you the same experience?

Excerpt

#5  " I didn't sit with her on the bleachers at the game. she says:  I don't feel connected with you, "I don't know why you don't want to talk to me/be with me".
Excerpt

Are you feeling lonely and unimportant because I didn't sit with you during the game? I"m sorry Hun.  I can see why you would feel that way. Would you like to meet some of the people I was talking to? We can go out to dinner before the game and talk about our day.  Would that feel like you are a priority to me?

Excerpt

#6  "My daughter calls and asks to spend the night and I say yes. I tell H she is spending the night. He is mad beyond imagination. Crazy mad.  He says, "how old are the brothers?, why didn't you ask me? I'm so angry with you."
Excerpt

Are you mad becuase I didn't consult you first or because our daughter is spending the night with this particular family?  You must really feel concerned about her safety to have such a strong emotion.  I can see how important this is to you.  Would you like to meet the family before she spends the night there?

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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2010, 12:48:02 PM »

Since I know I am one of those needing practice, let me try:

Excerpt
"you're always working. Why are you always working? Don't you realize that I need help around here too? If you were home more often you would see that I have a hard time handling things here by myself."

I can understand how my work schedule is causing you stress, do you want to tell me how that makes you feel?  You do such a great job taking care of things around the house, maybe we can create a list of items that I can be responsible for after work, would that help?

Excerpt
"That driver just cut me off! What an idiot! Some people shouldn't have drivers licenses! Let's see how he likes it when I do it to him!" Your BP is very angry and becoming an aggressive driver, scaring you.

Those kinds of drivers make me mad too!  Unfortunately, they are the ones that usually cause accidents. (I would usually try to start a conversation on a new topic to try to change his focus from driving aggressively.)


Excerpt
"That kid is so lazy. Look at her room!  Stuff is just tossed everywhere. Why can't she learn to pick up her stuff? Why is it so hard for her to do the right thing?"

This one is straight from my house for sure!  I agree, it is frustrating that our daughter cannot keep her room clean even after we have asked her several times.  It definitely looks like it isn't on her list of priorites. I value your insight, what do you think we could do to encourage her to clean her room more regularly.


Excerpt
'I can't believe you always make me turn down the 'insert noisy instrument here'!  I thought you were cool - yer just like everyone else who's always making me turn my music down!'

I really love your music babe, you are really talented! Maybe we can brainstorm ways that you can fully enjoy your instrument (headphones, souNPDroofing products, practice spot)

Excerpt
" I didn't sit with her on the bleachers at the game. she says:  I don't feel connected with you, "I don't know why you don't want to talk to me/be with me".

I love spending time with you, how did my sitting on the other bleacher make you feel? [listen] I can see how you may have felt detached during the game. Let's plan time together this weekend, just the two of us.

Excerpt
  "My daughter calls and asks to spend the night and I say yes. I tell H she is spending the night. He is mad beyond imagination. Crazy mad.  He says, "how old are the brothers?, why didn't you ask me? I'm so angry with you."

I see that this decision has made you mad, lets talk about how we can be more united for the next decision.

I don't know how i did, that was harder than i thought!
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2010, 01:06:27 PM »

[... .]

Excerpt
  "My daughter calls and asks to spend the night and I say yes. I tell H she is spending the night. He is mad beyond imagination. Crazy mad.  He says, "how old are the brothers?, why didn't you ask me? I'm so angry with you."

I see that this decision has made you mad, lets talk about how we can be more united for the next decision.



I don't know how i did
, that was harder than i thought!

Desperateone, as you specifically asked for feedback I feel obliged to help a little. As an excercise:

1) Can you try to start with sentences that do not refer to you at all? Totally focused on the SO? I know it is initially hard, my validation examples are also re-written a few times before they are posted - often for exactly that reason - need to shift into other shoes / angle of view.

2) Can you tone down or often better totally leave out the "nice" things you say about the SO? It is hard not to sooth, I fall also often into that trap in real life and on the board. But it is often invalidating. When I post fortunately the board has a backspace key so as explained above I'm cheating sometimes when I post i.e. work hard and rework and rework and over time - and this is what the exercise is for - I get better in real life too.
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2010, 01:21:58 PM »

Thanks An0ught!  I definitely see what you are saying, there was a lot of backspacing when I was trying to word it too!  I love the new texting craze because my husband and I text and it gives me time to word things better than what I would have just come out and said!

Daughter Sleep Over:

"You are angry about [daughter] sleeping over [so and sos] house, do you want to talk about it?  It is understandable that you are worried about the arrangements at [so and sos] house, let's talk about how we can handle these situations in the future - together.

Any better?  Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2010, 01:34:12 PM »

 Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) a lot!  Smiling (click to insert in post)

This is from your original post and it is worth contemplating WHY it is so vital to take the "I" out:

Excerpt
"That driver just cut me off! What an idiot! Some people shouldn't have drivers licenses! Let's see how he likes it when I do it to him!" Your BP is very angry and becoming an aggressive driver, scaring you.

Those kinds of drivers make me mad too! Unfortunately, they are the ones that usually cause accidents. (I would usually try to start a conversation on a new topic to try to change his focus from driving aggressively.)

The dangerous bit is that with the first sentence you align your emotions with his. This is EMPATHY. Nothing wrong, natural and very human. But aligning with dysregulated emotions is riding a roller coaster. So we use validation - total focus on emotions on the other side, leaving us in the calm zone.

Again, you got it right this time round  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2010, 02:31:32 PM »

Oh to have your knowledge in my head an0ought!  Someday I will get there!

Got it, that makes perfect sense - - I can see how for many years when my husband raged against someone outside my family (ie, driver) I was more than willing to side with him because it meant I was not the target.

Okay, lets try it again:

"His driving really made you angry - -

... .I am totally stuck on this one, everything I would usually say falls into the list of don'ts.  I would have thanked him for driving safely with our kids in the car maybe, but that would be soothing /complimenting him.  I would have agreed, I know that isn't working in the long run.  Help An0ught!
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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2010, 03:20:51 PM »

Thanks for the feedback to this thread anOought.  I didn't mention wanting feedback but I would welcome it too (on any of my posts!).  I am so new at this.  It feels awkward and I know if will be extremely helpful once I get the hang of it.  My husband came up with something similar to the JADE acronym and gave me a cheat sheet to use but I never really grasped what he was saying. He would add minimize to the list.
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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2010, 06:04:09 PM »

I think the driving example is a little tricky because the scenario involves some boundary and safety issues too.  It's an inherently dangerous situation and it makes sense in an emergency to try to soothe or distract instead of validate.  Stay focused on just validating the emotion the driver is feeling for this exercise.  The next time you are in the car and this actually happens, do what you need to do to stay alive!

I do think it's OK to use the "me too" validation technique when you share the emotion, even if your intensity level is much lower. Just make sure you mean it.  If the situation doesn't make really make you feel angry/depressed/whatever then don't say it--just acknowledge that you understand they feel it.

Validation is about 1000 times harder in real life.  Some of the outrageous things we hear are hard to not defend against. 

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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2010, 07:24:15 PM »

I wouldn't mind some feedback either  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2010, 07:33:17 PM »

ok... practice is always good...

Scenarios... .some of these are real from staying:

Excerpt
#1  "you're always working. Why are you always working? Don't you realize that I need help around here too? If you were home more often you would see that I have a hard time handling things here by myself."

... actually heard this one last week... it is a busier time of year for me... and he has more time off from work to hang out at home and think about stuff... so: that sucks... i have been pretty busy lately... you do a lot of stuff around here... true... if theres something you want help with... maybe we can make a list and divide it up so that youre not doing everything... how does that sound?

Excerpt
#2  "That driver just cut me off! What an idiot! Some people shouldn't have drivers licenses! Let's see how he likes it when I do it to him!" Your BP is very angry and becoming an aggressive driver, scaring you.

Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) R has a short fuse with other drivers... mostly its real funny... but... for practice: it sucks when it seems like youre the only one paying attention to the road... though... if things cross a line... im probably not going to validate... just say i want him to pull over... bc it gets to be a safety issue... that case... i got no problem telling him hes crazy... and its my turn to drive...

Excerpt
#3  "That kid is so lazy. Look at her room!  Stuff is just tossed everywhere. Why can't she learn to pick up her stuff? Why is it so hard for her to do the right thing?"

yup... there is stuff everywhere... (close the door... walk away) R also has ocd... one of his 'things' is hyper cleaning... the kids rooms and housemates room are 'off limits' to him cleaning... standard... is close the door... walk away...

Excerpt
#4  'I can't believe you always make me turn down the 'insert noisy instrument here'!  I thought you were cool - yer just like everyone else who's always making me turn my music down!'

whats up R? yeah... it is frustrating... to feel like youre always getting yelled at for something you like... yeah? this case... id probably ask him whats up... bc its something unusual...

Excerpt
#5  " I didn't sit with her on the bleachers at the game. she says:  I don't feel connected with you, "I don't know why you don't want to talk to me/be with me".

whats up R? can you explain whats up w/this?

Excerpt
#6  "My daughter calls and asks to spend the night and I say yes. I tell H she is spending the night. He is mad beyond imagination. Crazy mad.  He says, "how old are the brothers?, why didn't you ask me? I'm so angry with you."

yeah... its kind of a change of plans... makes sense youre frustrated that you werent asked about stuff going on at your house...

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« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2010, 10:09:07 AM »

Not sure I have a handle on all this but I will give it a shot.  Any feedback is of course welcome and necessary if I am going to make effective changes to communicating with my SO.

#1  "you're always working. Why are you always working? Don't you realize that I need help around here too? If you were home more often you would see that I have a hard time handling things here by myself."

You are feeling that you need more help around here and that my absence is causing you stress? Is there something specific that you need help with?

#2  "That driver just cut me off! What an idiot! Some people shouldn't have drivers licenses! Let's see how he likes it when I do it to him!" Your BP is very angry and becoming an aggressive driver, scaring you.

Driving can be very stressful would you like to take a break and get a cup of coffee or would you like for me to take the wheel for a little while?

#3  "That kid is so lazy. Look at her room!  Stuff is just tossed everywhere. Why can't she learn to pick up her stuff? Why is it so hard for her to do the right thing?"

I understand that you don't like the mess but it is her room.  Perhaps we should suggest that she cleans her room once a week to at least keep it sanitary and that she keeps the door closed the remainder of the time so we don't have to constantly look at it. 

#4  'I can't believe you always make me turn down the 'insert noisy instrument here'!  I thought you were cool - yer just like everyone else who's always making me turn my music down!'

I understand that when you are creating it can be frustrating to have interruptions however when I am working it can also be difficult to be interrupted by loud music.  Perhaps we can try and arrange a time of day when you can play your music uninterrupted.

#5  " I didn't sit with her on the bleachers at the game. she says:  I don't feel connected with you, "I don't know why you don't want to talk to me/be with me".

Separation can be difficult however our connection does not diminish when we are apart.

#6  "My daughter calls and asks to spend the night and I say yes. I tell H she is spending the night. He is mad beyond imagination. Crazy mad.  He says, "how old are the brothers?, why didn't you ask me? I'm so angry with you."

I understand your concerns about where she is staying but I have met the parents several times and I know that they will be well supervised. 

Almost afraid to post this... .Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) Let me know where I went wrong! Thanks!  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2010, 12:14:00 PM »

a pretty good strategy... is to ask if they can describe what they're feeling... 9/10 times if i try to say 'youre feeling hit_' i get 'no im not!' even if he is...

try not to 'correct' what is getting said... if you came home and said 'im so tired after a long day of getting yelled at by my boss' and your SO said 'well everyone gets yelled at at work sometimes... it probably wasnt that bad' does that make you feel better or worse?
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« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2010, 07:26:46 PM »

I will give this a shot... .there are some tricky ones here:

#1  "you're always working. Why are you always working? Don't you realize that I need help around here too? If you were home more often you would see that I have a hard time handling things here by myself."

I can understand why you are tired and frustrated, you have a lot on your plate.



#2  "That driver just cut me off! What an idiot! Some people shouldn't have drivers licenses! Let's see how he likes it when I do it to him!" Your BP is very angry and becoming an aggressive driver, scaring you.

I know that guy cut you off and it's irritating and rude that he did that, but now I'm begining to feel scared, please slow down.



#3  "That kid is so lazy. Look at her room!  Stuff is just tossed everywhere. Why can't she learn to pick up her stuff? Why is it so hard for her to do the right thing?"

Yes, the room is really a mess, it's hard to look at.   What are some things we can do as parents to help her learn to take care of her space better? 



#4  'I can't believe you always make me turn down the 'insert noisy instrument here'!  I thought you were cool - yer just like everyone else who's always making me turn my music down!'

It can be annoying to have to share space sometimes... .I do like your music but sometimes I need some peace and quiet.  What can we do to make this work better for both of us?



#5  " I didn't sit with her on the bleachers at the game. she says:  I don't feel connected with you, "I don't know why you don't want to talk to me/be with me".

That must really feel awful ;  what would help?



#6  "My daughter calls and asks to spend the night and I say yes. I tell H she is spending the night. He is mad beyond imagination. Crazy mad.  He says, "how old are the brothers?, why didn't you ask me? I'm so angry with you."

I can underderstand why you are upset, what can we do together that will make this better?

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« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2010, 02:51:46 PM »

Everyone is doing really well with validation practice. Some of the scenarios involve using boundaries as well as validation. Most of you did ask questions which is very important.

Remember we want to get to the underlying emotions and let them know it is ok to feel how they feel. Boundaries are our fall back when our validation doesn't work. We never validate abuse.

When you need help with conversations you have I have found that the best way to get feed back from us is to write out your conversations with I said then he said like a script.

If you are deregulated or feel like you are to frustrated to validate take time to center your self. Say that you need a minute and then take it. It will only hurt the relationship if you try to validate when you are angry.

We can all validate successfully once we get the concept and practice. If you truly want to be closer to your partner this really is the way to go. Boundaries only will protect you from abuse but if you never work on getting closer the relationship will suffer.

Does anyone have specific scripts from your life you want to go over?


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« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2010, 09:15:01 PM »

Thank you, ifso, for mentioning how hard it is to validate when you, yourself, are deregulated/frustrated/hurt/angry - having your own hard to handle emotions!

I had a really difficult week last week and was PMSing really badly, which always affects my uBPDh... .and was just too beat down to properly respond to H's moods and on at least two occasions handled it really badly and got an earful - at the moment it just seemed easier to fight back and have a fight than think about catering to his emotions.

It's really hard to take that time to get centered - and if I hesitate too much H will think I'm ignoring him or not paying attention, which doesn't help. 

But it is probably worth it - the less we are fighting the calmer things remain for longer, right? I guess just saying - "I need a second to respond to that" will work.

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« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2010, 03:39:43 AM »

I had a really difficult week last week and was PMSing really badly, which always affects my uBPDh... .and was just too beat down to properly respond to H's moods and on at least two occasions handled it really badly and got an earful - at the moment it just seemed easier to fight back and have a fight than think about catering to his emotions.

Low dopamine levels are not helpful when it comes to emotional regulation. My BPDw struggles with a related condition which got worse thanks to some medication went from functional to non functional. When I get a cold the day before I even know I'm cranky and very easy to get pissed off. My point here is that we have limits to our capabilities. Like our BPDso's. Just a fact of life.

It's really hard to take that time to get centered - and if I hesitate too much H will think I'm ignoring him or not paying attention, which doesn't help.  

This is FOG. You are under no Obligation to validate him. Imho it is a mistake to draw your motivation for validation out of him. You do it for understanding him, to avoid his emotions are transferred unknowingly and manipulate you and for you to be in a better position to predict him and because it makes life easier for you because he regulates better. Or shorter: you do it for yourself. No reason to be Fearful or feel Guilt when you fall short of your own goals.

It sucks for him - but he needs to learn to deal with that. This is also part of him growing up.

With respect to validation it is important to remember that you are really working on changing the communication habits in yourself and your family. Habits are not learned in a day - and they are not unlearned in a day either. And there are studies that show that validation is somewhat sticky once the partners have gotten round to it. So relax.

But it is probably worth it - the less we are fighting the calmer things remain for longer, right? I guess just saying - "I need a second to respond to that" will work.

Not sure. Some fights are healthy. Fights also establish boundaries. Fights often bring up truths, awareness of differences and counter enmeshment. Of course less unnecessary fights triggered by random invalidation and resulting in more invalidation are good.


What works for me when I'm cranky I openly self validate - because then she knows it is not her but me. And then keep her at arm length distance to protect myself while I'm more vulnerable - again openly self validating how bad I feel, stating that I need distance and validating that it sucks for her.

Not perfect but helps me to get through these days. Actually it is also teaching her in an explicit way my needs for distance. In some way this is easier to get through to her as I have an *extreme* need - seems to be easier to implement for her than a lot of the gray area stuff.

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