Men: Learn How To Validate Your Woman’s Feelings

Men often struggle to validate their woman’s feelings. And, it’s a crucial skill to learn in a long-term partnership.

This one took me years with my wife. “Honey, I totally get your experience,” I’d say… “But I don’t feel seen or understood here,” she would respond. Grrrrr. When she told me this, it triggered my “I’m not doing it right,” among other things. Underneath that, my inadequacy button was firing. Since I didn’t want to feel that, I kept telling her defensively, “I do too get you.” It’s similar for many men who, for whatever reason, want to be right, or definitely don’t want to be wrong or criticized for how they are listening. But this is missing the issue, and missing our women.

There are many reasons why it’s hard for men to validate a woman’s experience. One is that we live in a culture that trains us to invalidate each other because we are simply afraid of our own experience. “No, no, really you’re fine, it’s okay, stop feeling bad and feel good.” Or a man might say “Honey, don’t worry. I can make better.” Fixing it is a classic first response for a man to reach for when his woman is upset. Another struggle some men have is that when he validates her feelings, her emotions might come out even more, which, for a man who struggles to feel his own emotions, is overwhelming. But his own inability to be with his own feelings is the real issue. Since some men are not hip to this, they make the mistake of thinking the problem is “out there,” thus making their woman wrong for being so emotional and thus wanting to fix it. But to turn this whole thing around, he must: 1) Learn how to be with a warrior with his own internal emotions, discomfort, and pain, so he’s less triggered by hers, and 2) Learn the actual skill and art of validation. And, it ain’t reflective listening. That only works to a point. To truly get her, he must drop into his heart and body and use all of him to listen and see her. He knows when he’s got it when she finally says with relief “Thank you.”

Remember that validating her experience doesn’t mean she’s right about whatever issue is going on “out there,” but it does mean she’s right about her experience. Big difference.

 

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2 Comments

  • Wayne Churchill

    Reply Reply April 16, 2013

    What is the answer? What is the best approach to validate her feelings?

  • Jason Cason

    Reply Reply January 21, 2017

    Wow,I feel a lot more dummer now. Lol.

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