Validation by definition: the action of checking or proving the validity or accuracy of something. For me, and I cannot speak for all BPD sufferers: I lacked this validation. I would do whatever I could do to find a way to seek any type of reassurance, in a positive, and sometimes, negative way. The blaming game comes to mind, quickly. If I can blame Joe Blow, and get praised for doing a better job, or whatever the case may be, I feel great! Or do I?…..
Although I want to be validated and get showered with compliments, I cannot receive them well at all. Now, I don’t know why this is, but I never feel like it is a serious comment at all. I will smile and politely say thank you, but I am internalizing what you meant. I am not used to this foreign type of exchange, so my brain is seeking for a negative undertone. I’d worry that you are going to set me up for some type of comment, to follow.
Example: You did a great job dealing with that customer. She was very pleased at how you directed her, and answered her questions. BUT next time, maybe you can try doing XYZ to even further the customer’s experience.
It’s kind of weird, because my therapist wants me to try CBT skills, but I see things that are mentioning DBT and how it can help a Borderline. I really have to look into both of these areas, because I am sure both can help, in some form or another.
According to the National Education Alliance on Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD), validation is also important for the following reasons:
- It’s the core of communication
- It helps to get through conflicts
- It builds trust
- It decreases anger
- It enhances self-respect
- It makes both parties feel more positive about the relationship
- It makes problem-solving, closeness, and other kinds of support possible
I understand that validating my feelings, is to try regulating them. Which, they currently are not, and this is what I really need to work on, so badly! So again, when you do try to validate my emotions, sometimes I can’t take it seriously. Also, we have strong emotional responses to events that are minor to outsiders. We also will avoid getting in touch with our feelings, so we avoid any form of strong negative reactions to our negative emotions.
This rabbit hole can keep going on, as I am reading and teaching myself. I knew that BPD sufferers lack mindfulness. That area just goes completely out of the window for me. When I am in a bad situation, the emotional side will literally always win, until hours pass by. As my therapist says: I stay in my own mess, because it’s all that I know, which is so true. BPD symptoms of experiential avoidance, instability, and inability to regulate their own emotions.
It’s just a lovely scene of always feeling mentally exhausted by the challenges that a day can bring on. I know this post seems a bit all over, but it makes sense (to me, anyways.) There is a lot going on, all at once, so we need to really get a sense of self. We need our loved ones to help us along the way. We also need to let them know that we appreciate their well wishes, even if we don’t know how to properly display them.
Gain our full trust, however, and you will know we are genuine!