I wanted to share this with all here. I recently read this book and found it invaluable for breaking things down in an easy to understand way.
It's called I Hear You by Michael Sorensen
Reviews on Amazon are mixed. Mostly good, but one review complained the author (a marketer) has stolen ideas from John Gottman's Relationship Cure book, but regardless the approach and examples are really simple to understand. I personally have no problems with someone repackaging knowledge into an easier to understand format. That's what teachers do in the classroom.
He gets into deeper validation and empathy. More than the cheat sheet at the start of this thread. One thing I did notice was that some of the validation lines here are what he considers "micro validations" which are only part of the equation.
It's cheap and well worth the read if you're trying to understand the difference between sympathy and empathy. He's even broken it out into 4 simple steps to help walk yourself through the conversations and provide the validation the other person needs.
Hopefully others here may find it valuable as well.
Last edited by Cadet; 05/27/1810:58 AM.
M:33 W:36 T:10 M:7 D8, D6 EA->PA (me) July/Aug '16 W move out 8/30/16 Recon M 9/7/16 S0 (miscarried) 9/13/16 W moved back 9/17/16 BD/WAW 6/24/17 while out of town Home to empty apartment 6/27/17
Thank you, dmoy. My H has told me that the OW validated him. I didn't even want to face the fact that I had been angry and embittered for a long time. My therapist told me today that what *I* experience as validation ("I know this is out of your comfort zone") was experienced by him as a reminder of his weaknesses. My therapist suggested that I take cues from my husband's words when he talks about his successes. (At least in our case, H feels "useless" and has a very low self-image at the moment.)
I just ordered this book. Thanks.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -- Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story
Not sure if you're into self-help books but there's a good one on validation called I Hear You by Michael Sorenson.
You can't really understand any other person, but you can identify and reflect the emotion they are trying to convey. "I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't stop crying. I lost my entire herd of cattle in a barn fire." Do you understand that? I don't. I mean I can picture it but have I ever been a farmer whose livelihood is derived from intact living animals? No. So it's more like, "I'm sorry to hear that, you must be devastated." Or maybe you're not sorry because you were playing with matches nearby and you suspect that the farmer thinks it's your fault. So more like, "How horrible! I'm sure anyone would feel despondent after going through something like that."
A prerequisite to validation is empathy, having a basic emotional vocabulary and sensitivity that allows you to discern the key feeling the other person is trying to convey. You can say exactly the right thing for offering condolences to someone whose beefers are all well done and they're sad about it. But if they're angry, or happy, and you validate the sadness that you think they're experiencing because that's what YOU would feel, you did it wrong.
Plus you have to be in the right state of mind. If you're emotional, you can't really sense the other person's emotions, and the whole thing becomes all about you again. And that's why you GAL.
I'm a newbie on your site. Divorce is a very complicated process for both sides. Usually, when we want to cope up with the stressed situation we must know everything about the stress. This knowledge can help us to deal with over problem faster.
Edit - this is not a place to advertise other sites or links. If you would like some help please post your story if not please do not return.
Last edited by Cadet; 11/19/1802:52 PM. Reason: outside links are not allowed
Validation: Sandi and a couple others touched on it, but your validation needs some finesse. "I'm sorry you feel that way" is technically validation, but it's not necessarily good or effective validation. Kudos to you for validating at all, that is much better than pushing her buttons. But I think you're ready for chapter 2! Validating is first seeking to understand her feelings, and second offering affirmations that her feelings are valid. So for example:
- "You always do what you want and I never get to go run or anything!" - "It sounds like you feel I'm ignoring your needs to get out and exercise, is that how you feel?" - "Yes it's very frustrating!" - "So you are frustrated because you feel I'm ignoring you, I can understand why you feel that way, I will work on that."
Just saying "I'm sorry you feel that way" may work at first, but if you just keep saying that no matter what she is saying then it starts to sound dismissive. Your goal is to make her feel like you are really listening to her.
A lot of LBS's think that since they didn't share feelings before BD that they should start doing it after BD, that it's a worthy 180. But a two way sharing of feelings is what should happen in a healthy relationship, and you're not in one right now. So your job is to listen and validate. You don't reciprocate by sharing your feelings with her, because when you do that she thinks "oh he's just trying to make this all about himself as usual."
As far as trying to see things from her point of view, that's not necessarily what validating means. In Retrouvaille we learned you shouldn't say things like "I know exactly how you feel." Because you really don't and she actually might resent you for saying that. All you're doing is acknowledging that her feelings are hers and they are legitimate whether you understand them or not. This is why so many LBS's struggle with validating, because they don't AGREE with what their WAS is feeling. But validation isn't putting a stamp of approval on what she's feeling, it's merely accepting that her feelings are real to her.
She also told me she bought a 55” TV and then made the comment if things work out for us, then it would be a good TV for the guest bedroom. I just validated (while recalling what she texted OM1 the other day about moving forward with D) and said it would be a good TV for that room.
Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Please try to understand what validation is and isn't because there are a lot of misunderstandings here about it. You don't "validate" about a TV. That's just a mundane conversation that doesn't mean anything. Validation is seeing her emotions/ feelings about something and acknowledging that her feelings are legitimate whether you agree with them or not. So she says she doesn't love you, you validate. She says she's confused, you validate.
Ok so I'm confused here. I don't see how to validate her telling me how I feel when I don't feel that way. If she said "I feel like you hate me." I can validate that because its her feelings. "I know you hate me." is not her feelings. How does she know I hate her? She can't possibly know what's in my head. The latter seems like the psychological concept of projection to me. She hates herself, but would rather have me agree because then its not her fault.
Originally Posted by AnotherStander
I get what you are saying, technically "I know you hate me" is expressing mind-reading rather than feelings. But keep in mind you are dealing with someone that is highly emotionally charged right now. So here are two scenarios:
I know you hate me. No, I don't hate you. Yes you do, I can tell. No I don't, why do you think that. I can tell you hate me. Etc. etc. etc. ARGUMENT!
I know you hate me. You think I hate you, that sounds very frustrating, I'm sorry that our situation makes you feel that way. Oh. Well maybe "hate" is a strong word. The whole idea of validation is to diffuse the situation before it escalates. You're not AGREEING with what she is saying, but more importantly, you are not DISAGREEING.