Oprah said many quotable things during the final episode of her talk-show series, but out of all of them, I feel this one applies to everyone. We all may seek validation in different ways from different people, but the fact remains that we seek it…crave it. No one wants to feel invisible, invalidated, taken for granted or worthless. We want to feel like we make some type of impact. If we don’t feel or receive validation, it can affect our self-esteem or create emotional voids that we might spend a lifetime trying to fill. Feelings of invisibility can worsen particularly in times of strife, as one might feel isolated in their pain or stress. I’ve seen in my own life how invalidation has affected me.
For those of you who are wondering if you are seen, heard and valued and don’t feel like you receive the love and support that you should…There are many who share your sentiments, including myself. It sucks, I know. My only advice is that if you’re able to, address your feelings with those around you. Tell them you feel ignored or belittled. Tell them you want them to listen more intently or be more involved with you. Of course phrase it in your own words, but make sure the heart of the issue is clearly stated. If you’re dealing with people who really don’t give a Dereon` (Beyonce` fan joke), I honestly hate it for you because that makes the situation even worse.
And for you folks who don’t necessarily feel like an apparition, be sure to take time to validate your loved ones. We all have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason. Internalize and absorb what’s being said to you, even if it’s a casual story. You’d be surprised how flattered people feel when you remember small details. Share in your loved ones interests and have them share in yours. Compliment and encourage randomly. Check on those you know that might be going through a difficult time. When you don’t understand or can’t relate to how someone feels or an experience they’ve had, ask more questions and let it be known you want to know more. Learn how to respectfully disagree. Don’t tell people how they should feel. Cater to and dote on every now and then. Go the extra mile. Yeah…that’s what I got for today.