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My Feelings Are Valid


My Feelings Are Valid

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Expressing our feelings is vital to our mental and physical well-being. When we bottle up our emotions, we might feel more stressed, anxious, or depressed.

However, we handle emotions differently due to various factors, including personalities, upbringing, and situations in life.

For example, mothers vary in their response to parenting demands. Some keep their feelings to themselves only to lash out at their child when overwhelmed.

I’ve worked for several years in the hectic world of the advertising industry, and I must admit that I would have handled overtime and heavy workloads better than parenting.

That doesn’t mean my professional life is much easier to manage than motherhood. It just means we feel things differently, and that’s perfectly fine.

Fortunately, I found resources online that have helped me handle my emotions at work and at home. If you’re a mom, you can check out this site for more tips on motherhood and parenting.

Meanwhile, I hope you see what I’m saying: our feelings are valid. Read on to learn more about the significance of expressing our feelings.

Why We Think Our Feelings Aren’t Valid

People have different reasons for hiding or disguising their feelings, especially painful ones. We usually refuse to acknowledge feelings we don’t think are valid.

Why we do so might be due to a particular person, situation, or negative self-perception. Still, regardless of why we consider our feelings invalid, fear is a typical factor that ties everything together.

For instance, we hide our emotional fragility because we fear it will reveal our weaknesses and make us vulnerable.

We believe that sharing our hurt would expose our susceptibility to others, defining our relationships as one-sided and leaving people in a position to exploit or abuse us.

It’s as if by “exhibiting” our hurt, we give up our personal power, allowing other people to exercise their authority over us however they wish.

Another reason we think our feelings are invalid is that we are too shy to show what we feel. We keep ourselves from crying in front of another person because we believe it indicates weakness.

For example, people, especially young ones, prefer portraying themselves as happy and strong rather than appearing weak to others.

Understandably, teenagers struggle with sudden shifts in their emotions and mentality. The worst-case scenario is if they continue to have this outlook as they enter adulthood.

Lastly, we might view our feelings as invalid because they are linked to childhood traumas, and the pain we experienced remained with us as we grew up.

Helping Others to See Their Feelings Are Valid

Here are some techniques to use to practice validation:

  • Reflection: Restate what you heard from the other person to show you are listening. Instead of using judgmental language, you can use descriptive language. For example, you can say, “I hear you, and I understand why you’re upset with me. I didn’t pay attention to the time. I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”
  • Seek clarification: Confirm what the other person means by asking questions.

For instance, you can ask, “So you think my tardiness is a total disregard of your feelings and your time, right?” You can also use this opportunity to convey your feelings.

  • Normalize: Let the other person know their feelings make sense based on their experiences or perspectives and that others may have similar feelings.

What Parents Should Teach Their Children: Expressing Feelings Is Normal

You can consider the following things when teaching children of various ages to voice out their feelings:

  • Ensure your preschooler knows essential “feeling words,” including happy, mad, sad, and scared. Kids can learn more complex feelings like frustration, disappointment, and nervousness as they grow older.
  • You can teach kids about feelings by explaining how your favorite characters feel in books and TV shows. Consider asking, “How do you think this character feels right now?” Explain the character’s feelings and why they may be feeling that way.
  • Having a conversation regarding an individual’s feelings teaches empathy. Often, young children believe the world revolves around them, so learning that other people have feelings can be an eye-opening experience for them.
  • Share honest stories about the day-to-day handling of your emotions. For instance, during meals, you can discuss something that made you feel frustrated, scared, happy, or sad.

You can say, “I went to the store yesterday, and someone cut me off in line! I was so frustrated. Are you familiar with that feeling?”

Then, you can describe what you did to feel better.

  • Encourage children to label their own emotions throughout the day. For instance, you can say, “It looks like you’re upset that you can’t go outside; what can we do to make you feel better?”
  • Acknowledge the problems in your child’s life and show that they matter. Assure children their feelings are valid instead of minimizing or dismissing their struggles.

Whenever children feel validated, they can be more confident in expressing their feelings. Remember how important this factor is to your child and your relationship.

Protecting your child’s emotional well-being by validating their feelings is essential for their self-esteem and overall well-being.