How do you know if your feelings are being invalidated?

Answered by Tom Adger

As an AI language model, I don’t have personal experiences or emotions, but I can provide information on emotional invalidation based on the knowledge I have been trained on. Emotional invalidation can be a challenging experience, as it can be difficult to recognize when our feelings are being invalidated by others. Here are some signs that may indicate your feelings are being invalidated:

1. Dismissal or Ignoring: When someone consistently dismisses or ignores your feelings, it can be a clear sign of emotional invalidation. They may downplay the importance of your emotions or act as if they don’t matter.

2. Minimization: If someone consistently minimizes or trivializes your feelings, it can make you feel like your emotions are unimportant or unworthy of attention. They may say things like, “It’s not a big deal, get over it,” or “You’re overreacting.”

3. Blaming or Shaming: When someone responds to your emotions by blaming you or making you feel ashamed for feeling a certain way, it can be invalidating. They may say things like, “You’re too sensitive,” or “It’s your fault you feel this way.”

4. Invalidating Language: Pay attention to the language used by others when they respond to your emotions. If they frequently use phrases like “You shouldn’t feel that way,” “You’re being irrational,” or “Stop being so dramatic,” it can indicate emotional invalidation.

5. Changing the Subject: If someone consistently changes the subject or redirects the conversation whenever you try to express your feelings, it can be a sign that they are invalidating your emotions.

6. Lack of Empathy: When someone lacks empathy and fails to understand or acknowledge your emotions, it can leave you feeling invalidated. They may respond with indifference or insensitivity.

7. Gaslighting: Gaslighting is a form of emotional manipulation where someone makes you doubt your own feelings and perception of reality. They may deny or distort your experiences, making you question your emotions.

It’s important to remember that emotional invalidation can occur unintentionally, and not everyone who invalidates your feelings is aware of the impact their behavior has on you. However, if you consistently experience invalidation from someone in your life, it can be helpful to communicate your feelings and boundaries with them or seek support from trusted friends, family, or professionals who can provide validation and understanding.