I needed an easy page to link to which concisely describes my idea of what validation is (without all the ranting and other stuff).
So here it is. :)
I’ve defined validation before, but I’d like to modify that definition now using my uber-leet defining skillzzzz to make it a bit broader and also more precise.
noun (pl. -s)
1. expressions conveying awareness, recognition, acknowledgement, and understanding of a circumstance, effect, consequence, action, or remark
2. expressions conveying awareness, recognition, acknowledgement, and understanding of the value and legitimacy of a circumstance, effect, consequence, opinion, feeling, effort, action, contribution, or remark
verb [trans] (-ed, -ing)
1. to express awareness, recognition, acknowledgment, and understanding of a circumstance, effect, consequence, action, or remark
2. to express awareness, recognition, acknowledgment, and understanding of the value and legitimacy of a circumstance, effect, consequence, opinion, feeling, effort, action, contribution, or remark
(phrases within example expressions which directly illustrate given or solicited validation are italicised boldly)
Validation is commonly noticed in its absence
- | I try so hard, nobody ever appreciates the effort I put in. |
- | All those end users constantly demanding free help for a free product, and do any of them ever thank us? |
or in attempts to solicit validation for reasons other than merit.
- | It was so painful for me to lie to you and cheat on you for 7 months, you should give me a little credit for that. |
- | So what if I haven’t met the deadline I promised, I do a difficult thankless job and you should be more grateful. |
Whilst agreement can accompany validation, expressions of validation by definition require only awareness, recognition, and understanding.
- | I disapprove of what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it. |
- | I understand that you don’t like dogs and I agree that you don’t have to, but I love them anyway. |
Giving and soliciting validation can both be used in attempts to manipulate a person into doing something
- | You’re so good at fixing blenders, why can’t you use your free time to fix mine? |
- | I’m such a yutz in the kitchen, can you heat these baked beans for me? |
or in efforts to manipulate agreement or consent.
- | You cook so much better than me, why can’t you agree to make dinner all the time? |
- | You don’t appreciate how hard I work all day, so why can’t you agree that I can relax during my free time instead of caring for my children? |
- | If you really cared about me, you’d change your mind and consent to my request. |
Validation can include expressions of gratitude, but is primarily about expressing awareness, recognition, acknowledgement, and understanding. Validation can be and often is easily accomplished without any expression of gratitude whatsoever. Used in this way, validation can be a valuable tool for encouragement and maintaining good will.
- | I know how hard you worked today, and I know how tired you are, however I do need help moving this furniture so if you could make the effort that would make my job so much easier. |
- | I realise I’m interrupting you with an off-topic tangent, but if you’ll give me a moment to say it before I forget, we can get back to your topic in a moment. |
- | I appreciate how far you went out of your way and how much of your free time you sacrificed to do that favour for me, and your efforts saved me a whole week of extra work, so if there’s anything I can ever do for you I’d be delighted to help you out. |
- | This dinner is fabulous and tastes super yummy, it was definitely worth all the effort you put into cooking it, and I’m so glad you invited me over to help you eat it! |
Emotional responses can be vital for identifying whether validation is given or solicited straightforwardly and with bona fide motives.
In the absence of a direct confession, uncomfortable emotional responses to given or solicited validation are likely to be the strongest indicators of any attempts to manipulate.
In the absence of any related personal issues, straightforward and sincere intentions to give or solicit validation are more likely to inspire pleasant emotional responses.
Late 16th century, from French valide and medieval Latin validus (as in ‘valiant’) ‘strong’, ‘healthy’ or ‘well’, ‘worthy’, and validare (as in ‘valid’) from the perfect passive participle of valeō ‘worth’ and valere ‘be strong’.