Invalidation can lead to despondency, frustration and cause depression. In this entry, we take a In-depth look at it.
It may seem like an unlikely cause, but depressive episodes can stem from not being taken seriously.
Let me explain.
Lack of validation.
To understand why the lack of validation is a problem, we first should look at what it is.
A quick search on Google will show: Recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile.
This sums it up succinctly.
I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of knowing something about a subject or person, only to be told that you are incorrect.
Or worse, that what you are feeling is wrong.
In general, I have experienced many such episodes myself, so I will draw on my own personal experiences to try and explain. I’m sure there are many out there who will relate on some level
In 1994, I went through a very painful Dark Night of the Soul. I experienced extreme loneliness and isolation.
I tried to share what I felt with others, in an attempt to seek help, but few could understand. Some even took offence that I was suffering from depression, while others used it against me as an attack. Some even made it all about themselves.
The ones that did care, only cared for a day or so. Then they became weary and ignored me.
In time I got past it, and looking back now, it feels way overblown and dramatized. But back then, everything just felt so dark and hopeless.
It was the invalidation of my feelings and the inability to find anyone who could relate that made things worse for me
When I would see the outcome of a certain action, I would be told I was being too negative.
I would say, if you do this, then that is going to happen. And sure enough, it would.
For example, it might be from hiring someone to do a job that you can tell are untrustworthy. You know they will overcharge, use inferior materials and use deceptive tactics.
Or maybe they are buying something, like a car, or whitegoods, but you know it won’t suit their needs. Then they end up wasting money on a product or service that is essentially useless.
My warnings would always fall on deaf ears.
It would be frustrating to see my predictions come to pass, but even more frustrating to hear the complaints and anger that resulted from it.
Contrary to their Character
Another example is what would happen when someone is expecting another person to act in a certain way that is contrary to their character.
It may be a sociopath, narcissist or someone who is suffering from dementia or the effects of medication.
I can generally see what the outcome is going to be and give very clear warnings about what will happen if that person is approached for whatever reason.
I would warn the person that their expectations would not be met, and they would be hurt. Regardless, they would ignore what I said, and go ahead anyway.
Then when things end up going pear-shaped, they would be angry and upset. Not just at that person, but also at me.
I would often be told: You are not always right either.
This is their excuse of not heeding my advice or warnings.
Ironically, I generally am pretty accurate.
And yes, that sounds arrogant, but I do have a very good track record, especially with people I know well. Invalidation of what I say does not change that.
Stepping on a Snake
To me, (to use an old example), it’s like warning someone that if they walk through long grass without protection, they may well end up stepping on a snake and being bit. Still, they proceed, step on the snake and get bit.
Then they blame everyone else but themselves.
This invalidation may lead to anger, frustration and then eventual despondency. It also has the side effect of feeling like you’re in a no-win situation.
It doesn’t matter how much you can see, feel or know; it seems that you are always being ignored.
You just end up feeling resigned to having to watch train wreck after train wreck happen when you know how easily it could be avoided.
Treated Badly by Another
Another frustrating example of invalidation is when you are being treated badly by another. Maybe they are putting you down, ignoring you or talking behind your back.
When you talk to someone about it, they will tell you how wrong you are, and give examples of why you are not right. The given reasons generally have little to do with your own situation and more about their own relationship with that person.
Or worse, they will take that person’s side and defend their actions.
Of course, when the one you are speaking of turns against them, suddenly it becomes all about themselves.
Other examples of invalidation are:
- Being made fun of for liking something, such as a movie or a song.
- You might aspire to make a difference to this world, or maybe be an author, singer or actor, but are told you are wasting your time and you’ll never make it. They may even make fun of you for it.
- Being told you are not feeling what you are feeling and to ‘get over it’ or to just be ‘more positive’.
Those are a few personal ones, but I’m sure others can come up with many other examples of invalidation.
If you live in that situation long enough, you will eventually become despondent and end up closing yourself off from others because you can no longer trust them to support you when needed.
Those who love to invalidate you are toxic people. They seem to have more investment in their ego, being right and being the center of attention or acting the martyr.
Family and partners seem to be the most common offenders. The better someone thinks that they know you, the more likely it will happen and the less they see who you really are.
In my experience, there is no greater healer than validating someone’s feelings. Even if you believe they are wrong.
Your feelings are your personal truth. This may not mean you are right about what you are feeling, but that is not important. What matters is that this is YOUR truth at this point of time.
It is not until you feel heard that you can begin to shift from what you are feeling.
Telling someone that you hear them, understand what they are going through, and it’s okay to feel that way, can bring amazing relief.
Also, many Empaths feel crazy. They feel that they are the only ones who are experiencing what they are going through. This also goes for those who are very sensitive to astral bodies such as ghosts, energies or entities.
Denying them their own feelings, their own truths, will simply lead to frustration, anger, despondency, lack of trust and even suicidal tendencies.
They may even feel they are going crazy and end up in an institute because of the invalidation of their feelings and experiences.
Take the time to validate someone. Don’t judge. Don’t try to ‘fix’ them. They may not be broken. They may just need a listening ear from someone who is just simply there.