How to Validate Someone

Validation is a giftThe need for validation, whether conscious or not, is universal. We all want to feel acceptable, worthy, and not-kooky in other people’s eyes.

But what is validation, anyway?

Most of us are a little fuzzy on this concept, and for good reason: Validation can be hard to come by in everyday life.

Let’s talk first about what validation feels like on the receiving end, and then we’ll look at how to do it.

Validation is a Gift

When someone validates us, we feel like we’re no longer alone. Read More

8 Things to Absolutely Expect in Relationships

Woman receiving giftEven though there’s a lot of talk about how entitled young people are these days, I see a lack of entitlement among all age groups in my practice as a therapist.

I see people putting up with pretty poor behavior from people they love, without uttering a word of protest.

Or, if they do protest, there are no consequences when the other person ignores them and keeps on behaving the same way.

There seems to be a pervasive fear — and when I say pervasive, I mean I feel it too — of getting too … uppity. Read More

What to Do When Someone Won’t Talk to You

Sad teddy bear estranged from stuffed bunny

Estrangement from important others is a sad fact of life for many people. One of the most painful experiences a parent can have is to be rejected by an adult child who appears to want nothing to do with them. Estrangement between siblings, in-laws, neighbors, even coworkers, is also common.

The reasons for estrangement are as diverse as the parties involved. Sometimes there was a very close relationship in the past, and something happened that created distance.

This may have happened either slowly over time or rather suddenly, but once that distance was created, it solidified into estrangement. Or, the relationship was never as close as it could have been, and the gap just kept getting wider, until there was no relationship at all.

If you're estranged from an adult child, a sibling or someone in your social circle, and the estrangement is their choice rather than yours, you're probably feeling rejected.

Rejection is a powerful emotion that can lead to all sorts of defensive behavior, which in turn can further alienate the rejecting person. If someone has chosen to have little or no contact with you, it's important to acknowledge any softer feelings you may have about that.