Validation plays a significant role in molding our identities and self-worth. It helps us understand the world, shape our views, and figure out how and where we fit into the bigger picture.
Broadly speaking, emotional invalidation is when someone dismisses your feelings and observations as insignificant and undeserving of consideration.
Internalizing these negative messages about our worth, emotional state, and personhood can erect high mental health hurdles.
Feeling invalidated triggers negative behaviors and emotional responses. When another person shuts us down, it:
- Causes us to clam up and swallow our feelings instead of dealing with them
- Enhances feelings of worthlessness
- Erodes self-esteem
- Increases self-doubt
Invalidation is trickier to navigate than other types of straightforward verbal abuse because it can be verbal or nonverbal, accidental or intentional.