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  • Jeana-Marie Allan, Psy.D.

Invalidation

I wanted to briefly share a more difficult (and possibly least popular) topic today... invalidating people's experiences and how damaging it can be.

**My disclaimer is: I think most of us have done this to ourselves or even to someone else in our life time and not have realized it. With that said, knowledge is power and my goal for sharing this is to begin to increase awareness and understanding. Not to blame**

I believe that as a society as a whole, we are still shaking off older generational teachings and ideals which instilled in us that emotions are "bad" and not to be shared. Sometimes when we don't know how to support another person, or if we feel ill-equipped to know what to say or do in difficult situations, we resort to these quick, "brush-off" or canned phrases. Sometimes we may legitimately not agree with what the other person is thinking or feeling and we REALLY want to open up their eyes to different possibilities, etc....

No matter how good our intentions are/feel, the second we invalidate someone's experience/feelings/truths, we strip down their sense of self. They begin to question the normalcy of their feelings and many times this can result in lower self-esteem and confidence. If done repeatedly, this type of interaction can even have dire effects on a person's development and ability to form healthy relationships.

With that in mind.... be good to one another and yourselves. Practice self and other compassion, especially when you find yourself having difficulties "walking in someone else's shoes."

Happy Friday.

(pictures included are thanks to Trauma Dissociation/Samantha Rodham)

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