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

Conflict Avoidant? Here’s What It’s Costing You

I’m bad at confronting people  — I don’t always choose the right words because I’m so nervous about having the conversation in the first place —  but I’m even worse at suffering in silence.

So when something’s up between me and someone else I just have to say something, even though it’s guaranteed to be awkward and uncomfortable (at least for me).

That discomfort is definitely the downside of approaching conflict head-on. But there’s an upside as well: No matter what happens, the “relationship rug” stays nice and flat, because there’s nothing swept under it. Read More

Why You’re Attracted to the Wrong People

Last week, I was giving a presentation to other mental health professionals when the talk turned to unmet emotional needs.

This is the kind of thing we therapists tend to discuss when we get together. That, and reality TV shows. Or maybe that’s just me.

Unmet emotional needs are often unconscious, and they cause all sorts of havoc in our lives. Mostly they tend to control our behavior. Come to think of it, they may even lead to agreeing to be on TV… But I digress. Read More