Earlier this week we talked about the positive impact validation can have on someone who is struggling, so how about the opposite? What are the negative impacts that come from not being validated? Turns out, there’s a study:
“Pain is a subjective experience that is imperceptible to others. Because of this, people who are experiencing pain often have their pain downplayed by others around them, including nurses and doctors. This invalidation can show up in a few different ways. In some cases, an outsider acknowledges a person’s pain experience but does not believe that it requires support, and in other cases, an outsider might not believe that the pain exists at all.
Importantly, having one’s pain invalidated can lead to stigmatization and may even exacerbate pain severity. Pain invalidation has also been associated with a range of poor mental health outcomes. In particular, pain invalidation has been repeatedly tied to depression, and study authors Brandon L. Boring and his team say this may have something to do with shame.”
There’s more at the link, but again I’m going to ask, given the positive impacts of validating someone’s pain and emotions, and the negative impacts of invalidating those same things, why would we do anything else?