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

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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.

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                  Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

                  Reference

                  More by this author

                  Anna Chui

                  Anna is the Chief Editor and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert who shares tips on motivation and relationships.

                  The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You The Purpose Of Friendship: The Only 4 Types Of Friends You Need In Life How Self-Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) How to Live Life to the Fullest and Enjoy Each Day 30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

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                  Last Updated on February 11, 2021

                  20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

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                  20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

                  Dreams — Mysterious, bewildering, eye-opening and sometimes a nightmarish living hell. Dreams are all that and much more.

                  Here are 20 amazing facts about dreams that you might have never heard about:

                  Fact #1: You can’t read while dreaming, or tell the time

                    If you are unsure whether you are dreaming or not, try reading something. The vast majority of people are incapable of reading in their dreams.

                    The same goes for clocks: each time you look at a clock it will tell a different time and the hands on the clock won’t appear to be moving as reported by lucid dreamers.

                    Fact #2: Lucid dreaming

                    There is a whole subculture of people practicing what is called lucid or conscious dreaming. Using various techniques, these people have supposedly learned to assume control of their dreams and do amazing things like flying, passing through walls, and traveling to different dimensions or even back in time.

                    Want to learn how to control your dreams? You can try these tips:

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                    Lucid Dreaming: This Is How You Can Control Your Dreams

                    Fact #3: Inventions inspired by dreams

                    Dreams are responsible for many of the greatest inventions of mankind. A few examples include:

                    • The idea for Google -Larry Page
                    • Alternating current generator -Tesla
                    • DNA’s double helix spiral form -James Watson
                    • The sewing machine -Elias Howe
                    • Periodic table -Dimitri Mendeleyev

                    …and many, many more.

                    Fact #4: Premonition dreams

                    There are some astounding cases where people actually dreamt about things which happened to them later, in the exact same ways they dreamed about.

                    You could say they got a glimpse of the future, or it might have just been coincidence. The fact remains that this is some seriously interesting and bizarre phenomena. Some of the most famous premonition dreams include:

                    • Abraham Lincoln dreamt of His Assassination
                    • Many of the victims of 9/11 had dreams warning them about the catastrophe
                    • Mark Twain’s dream of his brother’s demise
                    • 19 verified precognitive dreams about the Titanic catastrophe

                    Fact #5: Sleep paralysis

                    Hell is real and it is called sleep paralysis. It’s the stuff of true nightmares. I’ve been a sleep paralysis sufferer as a kid and I can attest to how truly horrible it is.

                    Two characteristics of sleep paralysis are the inability to move (hence paralysis) and a sense of an extremely evil presence in the room with you. It doesn’t feel like a dream, but 100% real. Studies show that during an attack, sleep paralysis sufferers show an overwhelming amygdala activity. The amygdala is responsible for the “fight or flight” instinct and the emotions of fear, terror and anxiety. Enough said!

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                    Fact #6: REM sleep disorder

                    In the state of REM (rapid-eye-movement) stage of your sleep your body is normally paralyzed. In rare cases, however, people act out their dreams. These have resulted in broken arms, legs, broken furniture, and in at least one reported case, a house burnt down.

                    Fact #7: Sexual dreams

                    The very scientifically-named “nocturnal penile tumescence” is a very well documented phenomena. In laymen’s term, it simply means that you get a stiffy while you sleep. Actually, studies indicate that men get up to 20 erections per dream.

                    Fact #8: Unbelievable sleepwalkers

                      Sleepwalking is a very rare and potentially dangerous sleep disorder. It is an extreme form of REM sleep disorder, and these people don’t just act out their dreams, but go on real adventures at night.

                      Lee Hadwin is a nurse by profession, but in his dreams he is an artist. Literally. He “sleepdraws” gorgeous portraits, of which he has no recollection afterwards. Strange sleepwalking “adventures” include:

                      • A woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking
                      • A man who drove 22 miles and killed his cousin while sleepwalking
                      • A sleepwalker who walked out of the window from the third floor, and barely survived

                      Fact #9: Dream drug

                      There are actually people who like dreaming and dreams so much that they never want to wake up. They want to continue on dreaming even during the day, so they take an illegal and extremely potent hallucinogenic drug called Dimethyltryptamine. It is actually only an isolated and synthetic form of the chemical our brains produce naturally during dreaming.

                      Fact #10 Dream-catcher

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                        The dream-catcher is one of the most well-known Native American symbols. It is a loose web or webs woven around a hoop and decorated with sacred objects meant to protect against nightmares.

                        Fact #11: Increased brain activity

                        You would associate sleeping with peace and quiet, but actually our brains are more active during sleep than during the day.

                        Fact #12: Creativity and dreams

                        As we mentioned before, dreams are responsible for inventions, great artworks and are generally just incredibly interesting. They are also “recharging” our creativity.

                        Scientists also say that keeping a dream diary helps with creativity.

                        In rare cases of REM disorder, people actually don’t dream at all. These people suffer from significantly decreased creativity and perform badly at tasks requiring creative problem solving.

                        Fact #13: Pets dream too

                          Our animal companions dream as well. Watch a dog or a cat sleep and you can see that they are moving their paws and making noises like they were chasing something. Go get ’em buddy!

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                          Fact #14: You always dream—you just don’t remember it

                          Many people claim that they don’t dream at all, but that’s not true: we all dream, but up to 60% of people don’t remember their dreams at all.

                          Fact #15: Blind people dream too

                          Blind people who were not born blind see images in their dreams but people who were born blind don’t see anything at all. They still dream, and their dreams are just as intense and interesting, but they involve the other senses beside sight.

                          Fact #16: In your dreams, you only see faces that you already know

                            It is proven that in dreams, we can only see faces that we have seen in real life before. So beware: that scary-looking old lady next to you on the bus might as well be in your next nightmare.

                            Fact #17: Dreams tend to be negative

                            Surprisingly, dreams are more often negative than positive. The three most widely reported emotions felt during dreaming are anger, sadness and fear.

                            Fact #18: Multiple dreams per night

                            You can have up to seven different dreams per night depending on how many REM cycles you have. We only dream during the REM period of sleep, and the average person dreams one to two hours every night.

                            Fact #19: Gender differences

                            Interestingly, 70% of all the characters in a man’s dream are other men, but women’s dream contain an equal amount of women and men. Also men’s dreams contain a lot more aggression. Both women and men dream about sexual themes equally often.

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                            Fact #20: Not everyone dreams in color

                            As much as 12% of people only dream in black and white.

                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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