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Why Your Lover Doesn’t Want Your Advice, but Your Validation

Why Your Lover Doesn’t Want Your Advice, but Your Validation

Relationships, even the great ones, can be complicated. This is especially true if you’re lacking validation. Think about the last time you told your partner about the way you felt. Maybe he/she said something to you that hurt your feelings. On some level, perhaps you knew they didn’t mean it to be hurtful, but because of something you’d experienced in the past, it rubbed you the wrong way.

If relationships worked the way they did in the movies, your partner would have said something like, “Honey, I completely understand where you’re coming from. You don’t have to say it. I’ll not let anything hurt your any more.(Hug)” But because life isn’t a movie, there’s a chance your partner actually said something closer to, “Why are you getting so offended? I didn’t mean anything by it. You’re being dramatic for no reason.”

      If this sounds familiar, then you probably understand why validation in a relationship is important. It isn’t about being told you’re right or that everyone should agree with you, it’s simply about having your feelings acknowledged and successfully communicating within a relationship.

      Think about the last time you really felt like your partner understood you. You experienced a really peaceful sensation and some form of accomplishment. While it can be a subtle moment, feeling understood leads to a better, stronger connection. This isn’t just about acknowledging your partner when they tell you how they feel about something that happened between the two of you, it’s about being present in any conversation you share, even if it’s just a quick recap of their day.

      Your Relationship Grows When You Stop Judging and Start Accepting

      By showing your understanding and acceptance to your partner, they will feel more confidence in themselves and feel more willing to share their thoughts and feelings with you.

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      To illustrate the way this works, let’s use a dramatic example: Your partner has done something silly and you say, “That was so stupid.” Your partner becomes very insulted and hurt, even though you know you didn’t mean anything by it. In the back of your mind, you remember a family member used to tell him/her that they were stupid growing up.

      By validating your partner’s feelings, you calm or even eliminate their concerns.

      While your initial reaction may be to say something like, “Oh come on, you know I didn’t mean it like that…”, this can have an adverse effect and hurt your partner’s feelings even more. Instead, you would want to say something closer to, “I’m sorry I worded it that way. You know I think you’re so smart. It was careless and I apologize.”

      Your partner will feel loved and respected, and appreciate the relationship with you more.

      Remind your partner that you appreciate and respect them. Validate how they feel and ask if they’d like to talk about why they were so hurt by your comment.

      Arguments will be prevented, or quickly resolved.

      If your partner does open up and explain why he/she got offended, don’t allow yourself to get defensive while they talk. Remember, the whole point of asking them to talk about it was to hear them out. Let them talk before you jump to any arguments.

      You’ll help your partner to become open to your point of view.

      Your partner wants you to understand what is happening in their head, so remember that you deserve that opportunity, too. Apologize for the wording, especially since they were insulted with that same phrase while they were growing up. Empathy is key.

      And even if you can’t fix the issue, you’re providing encouragement and support.

      When something like this happens, you can’t go back and undo the way it made them feel, or the root of why it hurt them in the first place. But what you can do is allow a space for open communication and validation. “Sorry” may not be enough at first, because your partner may need some time to let it go. Even if it seems dramatic to you, remember that to them it isn’t dramatic at all. Let them know that you’ll be patient with the process and you will be more mindful in the future.

      The More You Validate Your Partner, the Deeper Your Connection Becomes

      Validation is key to a healthy, strong relationship. There are 6 levels of validation, and each helps you connect deeper and deeper with your lover.[1]

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      Level 1: Being Present

        This is exactly what it sounds like. Pay attention to what your partner is telling you. Look at their eyes, hold their hands, or even hug them to show that you’re being with them.

        Level 2: Accurate Reflection

          When you reflect your partner’s feelings, you summarize what they’ve said to you or share your opinion on the matter. It ensures you really were present and focused, while also helping them to sort through the situation and separate thoughts from emotions.

          Level 3: Mind Reading

            While being psychic would be helpful in any relationship, this level is actually about being able to guess what’s happening in the other person’s head based on observation. If your partner is telling you about something upsetting that happened at work, or about something you did that upset them, try to understand why it impacted them. Use statements like, “I’m guessing you must have felt really sad because…….”

            Level 4: Understand the Person in Terms of Their Experiences

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              Sometimes things are hurtful, not because they were intended to be, but because we experienced the situation through a lens of past experience. If your loved one is venting about something upsetting, but it doesn’t seem upsetting to you, take a step back and try to understand it from their point of view.

              Use statements like, “Given what happened to you when … I completely understand that this made you feel …”

              Level 5: Recognize Emotional Reactions That Anyone Would Have

                One of the easiest ways to validate your partner is by pointing out scenarios mentioned in a global way.

                For instance, if something happened that upset your partner, and you’re sure it would have upset you or anyone else that experienced it, say something like, “of course you feel … anyone would have felt that way!”

                A simple statement like that is comforting for your partner because they know that they really are not alone.

                Level 6: Radical Genuineness

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                  If you have ever experienced something similar to the scenario your partner is describing, share it. The goal is not to make this conversation about yourself. It is ideal to show that you are an equal and have experienced a similar instance.

                  Validate Your Partner By Starting With the Subtle Things

                  Each level of validation takes hours of practice because it has involved a lot of communication skills including patience, listening skills, how you tell your thoughts, and how you show empathy. To help you make validating your partner’s feelings easier, try the following steps.

                  Aim to Reach Level 1 & 2 First

                  This means you’ll be present and accepting during communication. While this will take practice, start by being aware of your body language. Crossed arms and a body angled away from your partner makes it look like you are only saying you want to hear what they have to say, but you really could not care less.

                  To Connect Deeper at Level 3 & 4, Observe More

                  Be mindful of the experiences your partner has had in the past and observe the way your partner acts with you. What are his/her usual behaviors, and how does he/she seem when they’re upset or sharing feelings with you? Once you start developing that awareness, conversation will become simpler.

                  To Reach Level 5, Understand More About Your Partner, and Others Too

                  While you never want to get overly caught up in comparing yourself to other people, it can be helpful to consider how others would face the same or similar situation. It can also be helpful to pretend to be an outsider when listening to your partner in order to better understand their feelings and not risk getting defensive.

                  To Advance to Level 6, Experience More

                  This can be challenging because you and your partner are not likely to have experienced the exact same situations, but if you can relate at all, share the way that scenario made you feel.

                  It takes two people to build a happy, strong and lasting relationship. After you read this, perhaps you want to sit down with your partner and discuss validation. How have you excelled at it in the past? Where could you have done more? Create a space for the conversation, so future talks will seem less forced.

                  Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

                  Reference

                  More by this author

                  Anna Chui

                  Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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                  Last Updated on March 17, 2020

                  4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

                  4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

                  Are you bored at work right now?

                  Sitting at your desk, wishing you could be anywhere other than here, doing anything else…?

                  You’re not alone.

                  Even when you have a job you love, it’s easy to get bored. And if your job isn’t something you’re passionate about, it’s even easier for boredom to creep in.

                  Did you know it’s actually possible to make any job more interesting?

                  That’s right.

                  Whether it’s data entry or shelf stacking, even the most mind-numbing of jobs can be made more fun.

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                  Understanding the science behind boredom is the first step to beating it.

                  Read on to learn the truth about boredom, and what you can do to stop feeling bored at work for good.

                  VIDEO SUMMARY

                  I’m bored – as you’re watching the same film over and over again, even though it’s your favorite one

                  When you experience something new, your brain releases opioids – chemicals which make you feel good. [1]

                  It’s the feeling you might get when you taste a new food for the first time, watch a cool new film, or meet a new person.

                  However, the next time you have the same experience, the brain processes it in a different way, without releasing so many feel-good chemicals.

                  That’s why you won’t get the same thrill when you eat that delicious meal for the tenth time, rewatch that film again, or spend time with the same friend.

                  So, in a nutshell, we get bored when we aren’t having any new experiences.

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                  Now, new experiences don’t have to be huge life changes – they could be as simple as taking a different route to work, or picking a different sandwich shop for lunch.

                  We’re going to apply this theory to your boring job.

                  Keep reading find out how to make subtle changes to the way you work to defeat boredom and have more fun.

                  Your work can be much more interesting if you learn these little tricks.

                  Ready to learn how to stop feeling so bored at work?

                  We’ve listed some simple suggestions below – you can start implementing these right now.

                  Let’s do this.

                  Make routine tasks more interesting by adding something new

                  Sometimes one new element is all it takes to turn routine tasks from dull to interesting.

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                  Maybe there’s a long drive you have to make every single week. You get so bored, going the same old route to make the same old deliveries.

                  Why not make it a routine to create a playlist of new music each Sunday, to listen to on your boring drive during the week?

                  Just like that, something you dread can be turned into the highlight of your day.

                  For other routine tasks, you could try setting a timer and trying to beat your record, moving to a new location to complete the task, or trying out a new technique for getting the work done – you might even improve your productivity, too.

                  Combine repetitive tasks to get them out of the way

                  Certain tasks are difficult to make interesting, no matter how hard you try.

                  Get these yawn-inducing chores out of the way ASAP by combining them into one quick, focused batch.

                  For example, if you hate listening to meeting recordings, and dislike tidying your desk, do them both at the same time. You’ll halve the time you spend bored out of your mind, and can move onto more interesting tasks as soon as you’re done.

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                  Break large tasks into small pieces and plan breaks between them

                  Feeling overwhelmed can lead you to procrastinate and get bored. Try breaking up large tasks into lots of small pieces to keep things manageable and fun.

                  Try breaking up a 10,000 word report into 1000-word sections. Reward yourself at the end of each section, and you’ll get 10 mini mood boosts, instead of just one at the end.

                  You can also plan short breaks between each section, which will help to prevent boredom and keep you focused.

                  Give yourself regular rewards, it can be anything that makes you feel good

                  Make sure you reward yourself for achievements, even if they feel small.

                  Rewards could include:

                  • Eating your favourite snack.
                  • Taking a walk in a natural area.
                  • Spending a few minutes on a fun online game.
                  • Buying yourself a small treat.
                  • Visiting a new place.
                  • Spending time on a favourite hobby.

                  Your brain will come to associate work with fun rewards, and you’ll soon feel less bored and more motivated.

                  Boredom doesn’t have to be a fact of life.

                  Make your working life feel a thousand times more fun by following the simple tips above.

                  Reference

                  [1] Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored

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