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

What to Do When Someone Cries

A doll criesAs a psychotherapist, my work frequently involves watching people cry.

I probably spend as much on Kleenex every year as other professionals spend on printer paper.

Far from being fazed by tears, I welcome them because I know how healing they can be.

But that hasn’t always been the case…

A Short History of My Awkward Cluelessness

I entered adulthood as the original Uncomfortable Witness. Since we didn’t cry in my home when I was growing up, I literally had no idea how to respond to tears. Read More

How to Soothe Yourself

Be there for yourselfHere’s a way to soothe anxiety that doesn’t alienate people, destroy your liver or stunt your emotional growth.

Whenever I’ve had a difficult conversation with someone important to me, or even an unpleasant interaction with a stranger,  I tend to feel a little queasy emotionally.

If I pay attention, I usually find I’m feeling anxious in some way about what happened. Did I say or do the wrong thing? Did I do damage? Should I have done x, y or z instead? Read More