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Author Topic: 1.11 | Validation Skill - Stop Invalidating Others  (Read 161611 times)
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« Reply #60 on: July 18, 2011, 02:33:46 PM »

I think I should have learned the whole alphabet before doing the validation with my wife.

As an engineering manager I used the ABCs a lot, but didn't even know about secondary emotions, and wasn't exposed to them at work.

I have read a lot of posts where the nons seem to be painted blacker by their pwBPD with time. I wonder if it is because of us being too understanding of the dysregulated abuse coming from the secondary emotions - 'validating the invalid.' - and reinforcing not only bad behavior, but black thinking about us in general.

I imagine this could with time cause secondary emotions to become primary ones.

united for now
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Talking about solutions create solutions

« Reply #61 on: July 18, 2011, 04:26:34 PM »

A person who is highly sensitive, extremely emotional, very reactive, and with severe shame issues  will most likely NOT express their primary emotions clearly. They will go straight to secondary emotions, since they feel easier to express. Over time, the pwBPD has gotten better responses from displaying their secondary emotions, so the primary ones of fear, worry, sadness will get buried under the anger.

Their defenses developed to hide their primary emotions, that is what all the projection, blame, black and white thinking, push/pull, denial, distorted thinking stems from... .an inability to feel or connect or hold onto primary emotions.

In “Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder” by Valier Porr,  MA, some other useful considerations.

Misconceptions around validation:

•   Validation is not the same as understanding. You don’t need to understand “why” a person feels as they do. You just need to accept their emotions.

•   Validations is not the same as loving someone. Love isn’t enough in this case. People need to feel listened to and to have their feelings accepted.

•   Validation is not a synonym for praise. Praise is a form of judgment that something is good or right, highlighting that the opposite could also be true, that the pwBPD is bad or wrong.

•   Validation is not the same as being proud of someone. Being proud can also be a judgment, implying that a pwBPD needs our approval.

•   Validations does not mean that you approve or disapprove of the persons feelings. There is no right or wrong when it comes to feelings.

Validation “Do Nots”

•   Do not criticize, judge or blame

•   Do not be distracted – focus

•   Do not pick the wrong time to have a sensitive discussion

•   Do not be willful or controlling

•   Do not try to solve or fix your loved ones problems

•   Do not jump into the problem pool

•   Do not respond with logic

•   Do not respond with anger

•   Do not personalize

•   Do not focus on “being right”

•   Do not validate the invalid

Change your perceptions and you change your life.  Nothing changes without changes
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« Reply #62 on: August 11, 2011, 08:37:39 AM »

Level 6 - Radical Genuineness

The key to all validation is to be genuine. To be radically genuine is to ensure that you don't "fragilize", condescend, or talk down to the person you are trying to validate. You don't want to treat them any differently than you would anyone else in a similar situation. They aren't fragile, and to treat them as such can be seen as condescending.

This is the one I have the hardest time with.  I don't always "feel" genuine in my validation, because quite honestly, I mostly feel "obligated" to validate rather than truly "wanting" as a desire of my own heart, to validate.  

So I get stuck right here.  

And because I feel obligated to validate, my validation does not feel genuine to my SO, she knows it, I know it.  

So the best thing I can do at the moment rather than "faking it" is to just not really say much.  I do that first step over and over, listening, paying attention, nodding, occasionally asking a question but that's it.  So because I lack a response much further than that and even if I had one it's not genuine in nature, I'm blamed for being cold and lacking in compassion and kindness (which, if you told me to look at the situation and find the kernel of truth, there you have it, it's probably true that I do come across as cold, lacking compassionate, and unkind.)  I just don't know how to change that because really, I'm not a cold or uncaring person.

STUCK right there... .

but still Sticking with It

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« Reply #63 on: August 11, 2011, 10:42:10 AM »

This one was good for my collection of posts that I want to come back to over and over.  WOW!  I have been working on my validation skills very hard lately.  The RS between my UBPDW and I has improved and I can see a much better future ahead.

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« Reply #64 on: August 11, 2011, 11:06:08 AM »

SWI-- I am in the same boat... .sometimes it is almost impossible to truly validate because I feel so differently about a particular situation than he does.  In those instances it is very clear to both of us that I think he is nuts... .and do come off as cold/mean/not caring.  He tells me I have no empathy... I do it's just sometimes he's so far off his rocker that it is hard to empathize... ugh!  Something I do need to get better at... .afterall... this is what he feels... .as much as he doesn't want to feel a certain way... he does feel that way... and he needs validation of some sort.  Just can't give different perspectives as a means to validate... .even if he doesn't want to feel a certain way about whatever the situation might be... .

does this make any sense?  I feel like I'm falling off MY rocker as I type this   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #65 on: August 11, 2011, 11:42:05 AM »

I understand how hard it is to emphasize.  After all, a lot of stuff they aren't feeling heard about is so way out there that it's hard to connect to.  The key thing is to ask a lot of questions.  Get them to talk to you like you're stupid.  In my experience, once you get them to go back through all the logical leaps they made to get dysregulated, it becomes a lot easier to emphasize.  In my experience, you'd be surprised as to the source of the issues that made them upset in the first place.  Also, you'll find that these issues have nothing to do with you. 

From there, once you know the drill and put yourself in their shoes, you can emphasize.  I know in my wife's case, knowing how she grew up and the issues she had to deal with makes it a lot easier to validate when she gets dysregulated about something.  At least I know the core issues.  The key is to do the hard work of hacking through those weeds.

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.~ Matthew 5:45
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« Reply #66 on: August 11, 2011, 12:07:11 PM »

Level 6 - Radical Genuineness

The key to all validation is to be genuine. To be radically genuine is to ensure that you don't "fragilize", condescend, or talk down to the person you are trying to validate. You don't want to treat them any differently than you would anyone else in a similar situation. They aren't fragile, and to treat them as such can be seen as condescending.

Being genuine is a huge part of this.  If you listen to Dr. Fruzzetti's video, he talks about how this develops.  It's forced in the beginning , but your own need to be true to yourself will drive you to find a way to make it genuine.

It's easy to see when others are not empathetic - much harder to see ourselves.   Some of us have impaired empathy.

I've read from many members that have successfully rebuilt their relationships will look back and see that they lacked empathy earlier on.

Empathy is a big part of good mental health.  A personality disorder is defined by impairment in two of the following: empathy, intimacy, self image, and self function.

Where would your empathy?  


Clinical definition* of empathy

∆ Healthy (0) Capable of accurately understanding others’ experiences and motivations in most situations. Comprehends and appreciates others’ perspectives, even if disagreeing.  Is aware of the effect of own actions on others.

∆ Mild impairment (1) Somewhat compromised in ability to appreciate and understand others’ experiences; may tend to see others as having unreasonable expectations or a wish for control. Although capable of considering and understanding different perspectives, resists doing so. Inconsistent is awareness of effect of own behavior on others.

∆ Impaired (2) Hyper-attuned to the experience of others, but only with respect to perceived relevance to self. Excessively self-referential; significantly compromised ability to appreciate and understand others’ experiences and to consider alternative perspectives. Generally unaware of or unconcerned about effect of own behavior on others, or unrealistic appraisal of own effect.

∆ Very Impaired (3) Ability to consider and understand the thoughts, feelings and behavior of other people is significantly limited; may discern very specific aspects of others’ experience, particularly vulnerabilities and suffering.  Generally unable to consider alternative perspectives; highly threatened by differences of opinion or alternative viewpoints. Confusion or unawareness of impact of own actions on others; often bewildered about peoples’ thoughts and actions, with destructive motivations frequently misattributed to others.

∆ Extreme Impairment (4)  Pronounced inability to consider and understand others’ experience and motivation. Attention to others' perspectives virtually absent (attention is hypervigilant, focused on need-fulfillment and harm avoidance).  Social interactions can be confusing and disorienting.

* Definition as per DSM 5 draft proposal

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Posts: 805

« Reply #67 on: August 11, 2011, 02:35:50 PM »

This is an excellent thread which I'm going to read over and over again.  I know that if I could validate better (or at all), my r/s would be better.  Its just so hard to do when I feel like I'm talking to a 2 year old.

The key thing is to ask a lot of questions.  Get them to talk to you like you're stupid.  

This actually seems like very helpful advice.

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« Reply #68 on: January 31, 2019, 11:51:56 AM »

Interesting - I have my own boundaries set pretty high, so while I can validate I also express my boundaries.  Often, a form of "I'm not willing to be spoken to in that way.  I hear you on x, and I will do y.  Right now I'm going to go because I don't accept how you are speaking to me.  I'll come back and talk to you later and maybe we can talk differently." I can accept the other person's feelings and I accept who they are, it just happens that who I am is someone who needs to walk away at that time.  When they can speak to me with respect I am more willing to listen and have that conversation.  I do accept who they are but I also accept who I am, and I am not a person who responds in the way described above.  I have three very important people in my life who were all abandoned as children and as a result have very strong needs and emotions at times.  I find it necessary for myself to set firm boundaries that I simply do not expose myself to crossing over.  This works for me, your mileage may vary!

Usually I post about my dd's, but this is really more related to my husband!  We have had no issues for years now, but previously had huge ups and downs.

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« Reply #69 on: April 19, 2019, 10:25:55 PM »

I really like your last post, " United for now". The situation has much to do with us, the other person who did not run for the woods as others have done and is now trapped with this mentally ill person.. the ...pwBPD

I think about this aspect a lot and try to embrace the challenge as i am so far from healthy or perfect..or ideal myself.

In some sense we all are mentally ill, some more then others.
This is the challenge of life, a healing process, an education, learning and changing.

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