How Do I Emotionally Validate My Partner

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Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

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Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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You ever feel like, “Why do they not agree with my feelings?” Or “Are my thoughts and feelings valid and worth something?” 

Emotional validation is the process of understanding your partner’s feelings and validating those feelings by telling them implicitly or explicitly that you understand their experience, their feelings matter and you empathize with them. When your partner comes to you to share their experience and you listen to them and relive those feelings together, that is called validating the feelings of your partner. They basically share their thoughts and opinions not on the basis of seeking advice or attention but validation that they want to know that what they are feeling is valid. Validating your partner on both physical and emotional level is very important in a relationship. 

There are times when you struggle to validate each other and it results to multiple arguments, here are the reasons why you find it difficult to validate each other:

  1. You need not agree with your partner to accept what they feel. Agreement is not  a prerequisite for acceptance. You can simply try to understand what your partner feels and acept what they feel even if it does not incline with your thoughts or ideas. 
  2. Instead of understanding each other you feel that your partner should not feel this way and you try to convince your partner to think differently and have an alternate approach to thinking.
  3. You don’t understand your partner’s point of view which makes them feel that they are not going to validate you until you validate them first. 

When your partner starts sharing their strong emotions and experiences with you they don’t generally want advice or come up with an alternate solution with you. They simply want you to listen and want to feel understood by you so they know that what they are feeling is right and they know you support them. When your partner will start receiving that validation they will feel more valued and supported in the relationship and this will make them feel that their feelings are valued by you, that is why it is important to validate your partner’s opinion genuinely in a relationship. 

Here are some tips that you can use for validating your partner:

  1. Listen - Always listen to your partner, listen to understand their feelings and keep in mind that whatever they are saying has nothing to do with you and also don’t try to come up with solutions trying to fix the issue. Just listen. 
  2. Empathize - While your partner is expressing themselves in front of you and you may disagree with their opinions, there comes empathy on your part. Empathize with your partner, put yourself in their shoes and try to understand where they are coming from, why are their opinions like this, instead of disagreeing with them. 
  3. Pay Attention - Pay attention to what they are saying, repeat what they are sharing, ask questions, make them feel that you are trying to understand them and validating their thoughts. 
  4. Normalizing - Normalize what they are sharing with you, by simply saying “Yes it happens in this situation, you are not alone” or “it s ok to feel this way, you are not wrong to feel this way.” Make them feel that it is completely normal to have their opinion like this. This is also called validating..
  5. Gestures - While your partner is sharing their thoughts and opinions with you, you can validate them by simply holding hands, rubbing their backs, making eye contact, etc. For some, Physical touch is very powerful and can be your partner’s primary love language. It will show that you care for your partner and is also called emotionally validating them.
  6. Body language - Use your body, when you partner is sharing something don’t just stand still with crossed arms, instead make eye contact, nod your head, make facial expressions. Be engaged when they are expressing. It will show that you are paying attention and are understanding what your partner is trying to convey. 

Certain changes in your sentences, while you are replying to your partner like, instead of saying “You are just overreacting” try to replace this with “You are right, you have every right to be upset’ or “I understand why you are upset.” These basic changes will help you a lot in making your partner comfortable with sharing their feelings and they will have that feeling of being understood. You may disagree with their opinions and that is ok, it’s just their feelings have value and as an individual it is normal for them to have a different approach of thinking.

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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