Validating Men’s Emotions

When a loved one shares a difficult situation, emotional validation is often all they need. When you validate their feelings, they will feel heard and understood, no matter whether you agree with their view point or not. It is also a great way to prevent emotional escalation.

A common stereotype is that men are practical and unemotional, seeking solutions and wanting to move on; while women overflow with emotions and want others to wallow with them. This can be frustrating for both partners when trying to communicate with each other. Learning to validate emotions can help you break this pattern and improve your communication skills in any relationship.

Invalidating someone’s emotions can be challenging because it requires you to empathize with their experience. If you find it hard to relate, try saying something like, “It sounds really hard and disappointing that X happened.” It can also be helpful to repeat back what they have said in their own words to show them that you understand what they mean. This will give them the opportunity to correct you if you have misinterpreted their message.

Validating someone’s feelings can also be done by normalizing their experience, by sharing that most people would feel the same way they do. However, this should never be used to diminish the uniqueness of their emotions or journey. For example, if they are talking about their friend who is having ADHD and feels disorganized, don’t say, “Everyone gets that way sometimes.” This can make them feel alienated from you because it suggests that they have a disorder and not everyone experiences it the same way. validating men’s emotions

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