Most people make one BIG relationship mistake and are unaware of the destruction it causes. They do it personally and professionally. Stopping this habit will make a significant impact more than any one relationship change.
This mistake is the bad habit of invaliding others. It can be subtle eye rolls, not engaging, sighing, or overtly expressing “that’s silly” or “we tried that before”.
Learning to validate others will transform your relationships. When you validate someone, you’re reflecting back to them how much value they have as a person.
Here are 10 ways to show people how special they are, even if you disagree, or don’t even get along well with them.
10 Ways to Validate Others
1. Do Not Be critical
Don’t be a complainer. Have conversations about what is going right and the potential life has to offer. People WILL be drawn to you! You’ll become attractive like never before. Gratitude, the Daily 5 & 5, and Clarifying a Vision for your Future
2. Do Not Make it About You
Make it about them, and help them reach their goals. Withhold sharing about how you feel and make it about how they feel. If you’re hurt in some way, save that information for an assertive conversation at a later time.
3. Use Their First Name Often
A person’s first name, to them, is the most beautiful word in their native language. If you’re a parent, then “mom/mommy” and “dad/daddy” from your children rival this beauty.
For more detail on this important topic, check out Decide Your Legacy podcast #50: One Big Mistake Most People Make on Apple & Spotify
4. Show Interest in Your Body Language
Show interest even if you are not because you are really interested in people you care about. Examples: saying “That’s interesting”, “Wow”, “Amazing”, etc. My daughter is very interested in the fine arts (drama & music) and I’m a sports guy. Because I care about her, I try and express positive body language when she talks about this passion. Interestingly, my interest in the fine arts has grown significantly in the process.
5. Say “It Makes Sense to Me You Feel That Way”
Even if most of it doesn’t make sense, some small aspects WILL make sense to you. Hold onto that. For example, my daughter told me I chomp my gum and I don’t think I actually do. I told her “It makes sense to me that people do things that annoy you.”
6. Apologize, When Wrong
When you mess up, humbly say, I was wrong, no excuses. Don’t say anything else besides that. Don’t react if they respond to your apology in anger.
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7. Name Their Emotion
Use phrases like “I can really tell”, “I really sense”, and “You seem…..” . Examples: “I can tell this is really bothering you.” “It really seems that you’re really excited about our trip this weekend.” and “I can tell doing a great job on this project is super important to you”
8. Ask Questions
Say: “Tell me more about that”, “That’s very interesting”. Use open-ended what and how questions as much as possible. Learn more in my article My 20 Favorite Questions to Ask Clients.
9. Love Them They Way They Want
A recent client told me he loves physical touch from his wife and his wife likes words of affirmation. He doesn’t give it to her because expressing appreciation toward her feels awkward. I told him, “you’re making a big mistake here”, and challenged him to love her the way she wants to be loved, not in ways that feel most comfortable.
Say: “If I understand you correctly” or “So here is my understanding of what you are saying” then paraphrase or summarize what you heard. They can then clarify anything missing or inaccurate. Check out my speaker & listener bookmark to learn more.
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