On Emotional Validation

One of my favourite speakers, Derrick Jaxn, said in one of his videos that when other people hurt you, they do not get to decide how long you need to process it.

Man, that hit me hard. There are a lot of people that want to dictate how long it takes others to get over the past.

I have also come to notice another tactic recently. It is called “whataboutism”. Instead of directly addressing the issue at hand that is hurting someone, the conversation gets redirected. It goes something like this:

“What about the time you did this? You aren’t allowed to feel hurt! I am going to tell the whole world everything horrible about you because you don’t deserve to acknowledge your pain!”

I am ashamed to admit that I have done this when I am really upset. When I don’t want to “deal with the guilt” as Derrick Jaxn says. It is a whopper of a realization because it means that no matter what other people did to you, said to you, how they hurt you – they are still entitled to their feelings. If someone did something horrible to you, that can be overwhelming. Why the heck should anyone let them feel?! The truth is, that they are entitled to it.

What they are not entitled to: invalidating your feelings, putting you down, or targetting you with harassment. It is true that you can’t take away their right to feel, but similarly they can’t take it away from you. This is great to remember in conversations because it will help you feel personally empowered when you are communicating your feelings. You get to focus on how to clearly communicate what you feel instead of trying to stop them from feeling. Once you begin to figure out and crystallize these thoughts/feelings, you will be able to communicate with laser-like precision. At that point, it is very important to choose when the time is right to cut with your words. Personally, I think it is very rare that you need to be extremely sharp with people. If your boundaries are crossed on a regular basis, or your hard boundaries are crossed even once, perhaps it is necessary. It also may be wise to walk away.

This is one of those times where being selfish pays off. Would your best or highest self try to tell someone else how to feel? Probably not, unless you want other people to tell you how to feel. Would your highest self attempt to solve problems effectively and communicate strong boundaries? Likely! When we start to set boundaries for ourselves and how we act, it is much easier to set those boundaries outside of ourselves.

This isn’t a call to perfection. We all make mistakes and do things we regret, particularly when we are lost or very unhappy. Do not dwell on those things. Just aim for better next time. Your emotions are valid no matter what kind of crappy situation you are in. You own them, and get to decide where your boundaries are, how you treat yourself, and ultimately how you treat other people. You come out the strongest when you enact the self-discipline to set personal boundaries and refuse to engage in destructive behaviours.

No one gets to tell you how to feel. Only you get to decide that and only you can set the right boundaries for your personal success.


With love,
K.R. Cannady

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