How to validate your partner during difficult conversations

Man and woman sitting on sofa looking at each other smiling.

All feelings are valid. When someone feels an emotion, it is valid to them because we all have a different way of perceiving the world. We also have different past experiences that determine our feelings about a given topic. So when your partner expresses thoughts and feelings about something you totally disagree with, particularly when this something is about you, you can still validate them knowing that they are entitled to their feelings. 

I get that when you validate your partner’s feelings, it feels like you are agreeing with them in what they’re saying. In actuality, validating and agreeing are two very different things. Validating is acknowledging that you hear them and feel for them, but you can have your own thoughts and feelings about that same thing. If you rush to share about your differing feelings before validating your partner, they might be left feeling unheard, which might lead to communication failure. 

So always remember to validate your partner, especially during difficult conversations that involve opposing viewpoints.This is because we all need to feel like our points have been heard and understood before we can entertain a different perspective. 

Below are some examples of validating statements:

“I hear you.”

“I acknowledge that.”

“I get it.”

“I understand where you’re coming from.”

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