Are you being emotionally invalidated? See, you might be, but the thing is, you don’t know that your partner is invalidating your feelings.
How to recognize it? Just keep an eye on what they are saying. It is seen in the majority of romantic relationships that one of the partners is not available to listen and often ignores the feelings of their partner.
Is it intentional? It can be, or it cannot be. It is not necessary that the person is evil and all he is doing is manipulating you. One of the biggest mistakes we make while talking to people is that we always compare their feelings or situation to us. And start talking about ourselves.
Moreover, we also say that it is not a big deal; there are a lot of other bigger things to deal with, etc.
Though you are trying to help the person by saying all these things, you are actually invalidating their feelings and causing them emotional damage.
In order to get out of this loop, you need to understand what invalidating feelings actually means. If you know about it, only then will you be able to point out whether your partner is also one of them or not.
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What is Emotional Invalidation?
Emotional invalidation is a situation when a person does not acknowledge your feelings and often neglects your emotional needs.
If you are a victim, you might feel emotionally drained and afraid to share your feelings with the person. Why? Because they don’t listen.
If they say things like “you are overreacting,” “You are overthinking,” or “don’t think like that.” “Control your thoughts,” “I cannot help you with this,” etc. Then it is high time that you need to take a step.
I know you must be thinking that this is not a big deal and that breaking a relationship for such a small reason is not good. I’m not saying that you need to leave the person.
You need to talk to them about how they are emotionally damaging you and these things are affecting your emotional well-being.
It may happen that they were doing it unintentionally and would agree to work on this. Moreover, if they don’t, you need to take a step, my dear. There’s nothing in this world that you need to sacrifice your emotional well-being for.
Think about it.
Is it Abuse?
Yes, it is. I know it does not look like one, but ignoring someone’s emotions is actually damaging their mental peace. You tell me, what do you need from a romantic relationship? Emotional support, right? Something that is needed that will help you grow with your partner.
If they are not able to provide them, there’s no point then. The situation gets worse when you are emotionally available for them, but they are not.
Not listening is a different thing but saying things that completely deny the existence of your emotions further damages your emotional well-being.
So yeah, it is actually one of the most common and dangerous emotional abuses. People often don’t know that they are abusing their partners. Therefore, the situation gets worse.
So, without any further delay, let’s look at the signs of emotional abuse.
5 Signs of Emotional Invalidation that You Need to Look For
Emotional invalidation is not something that you won’t be able to recognize. It’s pretty easy. But there are thousands of other things working behind it.
See, you need to think about whether your partner is invalidating your feelings or if it is nothing but a misunderstanding.
It can be a misunderstanding, but in most cases, it is not.
It is seen that people who grew up with toxic parents who never acknowledged their feelings actually attract partners who are emotionally unavailable.
So, the situation can be like this – your feelings are being invalidated, and you are not able to recognize it. Why? Because it is something that your parents also did to you and it is normal to you.
But this so-called normal-looking thing can actually turn into a disaster. Trust me; there’s no going back. There are chances that you will gradually become like your partner only.
Have you ever seen your partner sitting with you, and you are talking about how you feel, but you notice that he is doing something on his phone?
Moreover, when asked, they say that it’s some important work and they are hearing everything. As a next step, they say nothing at all and change the topic to something else.
It may seem that nobody has noticed. But your soul knows it all. You tell me, didn’t you feel hurt? I know you did.
But does your partner realize that? No, cause they don’t know about it, or even if they do, they don’t care. So what needs to be done?
You guys need to talk. You have to communicate and interrogate them about why they have been doing so.
In most cases, they refuse to reply and say things that do not make any sense just to justify them. This is where gaslighting begins from.
But you need to stay strong at your point.
They Get Angry
I can feel how it is while writing the lines. To make you understand the best, I’ll describe a story.
Suppose you tell your partner that you want to talk about some issues in your relationship. They react in a positive way. But the tables turn when the actual time of discussion arrives.
You elaborated on everything that has been going on in your mind lately. You are expecting some soothing and empathetic words from them, but instead, you see them being angry and rude.
You see them being irritated and scolding them for bringing up the same topic again and again.
What else? This is what they have to say. You decide to ask for help and cooperation, and they say that they won’t be able to do it. Why? No time for all this.
Sounds heart-wrenching, doesn’t it? Imagine somebody is actually going through this. What will happen next? You will get traumatized and will never be able to communicate your thoughts properly.
If the above-mentioned situation matches yours, you need to leave them. I’m sorry if I’m offending you. But someone who is not ready to listen will never be able to address the issues.
They Gaslight You
Are you aware of gaslighting? It is a kind of manipulation that people do to make others question their own reality.
To put it in simple words, suppose you went to your partner with a concern, and instead of accepting their fault, they started blaming you for everything. After a few minutes, you were convinced that the fault was actually yours.
It sounds like, “It is because of you that I reacted that way!” or “ I didn’t do that; it’s all in your mind.”
Yes, unintentional gaslighting is also there. But the damage is the same in both cases. Did you suffer the same thing? My dear, you need to do something about it.
I would suggest you talk to them first. As I have already mentioned that gaslighting can be unintentional too, you need to recognize whether it is unintentional or not.
If it is not. I don’t think that you should stay with someone who is a manipulator. So, go ask them, find the signs, judge, and then take a step. I’m not saying that you can never be wrong, but not every time, though.
Look, it is better to be peaceful than anxious with someone.
They are Not Around
We are talking about unavailability. It does not matter whether you are in a long-distance or short-distance relationship. A person who is available will be there with you.
I’m not sure whether you have heard about feeling lonely in a crowded place. It is actually true. It is something that a person feels when they do not find their person in moments of need.
Suppose you are having a tough day, and all you need is to talk with your partner. But when you call him or try to meet him, he is not available. Moreover, it is not a seldom thing.
They are never around. Even though you are in a relationship, you feel lonely like hell. This loneliness turns into a grudge, and then you start throwing tantrums at your partner.
You might not be aware of the reason, but this is what works behind most.
How to overcome this? To address this issue, both partners need to work together to find a balance between their work and personal life. It is better to keep up with your partner, this way, you both will feel loved and emotionally strong, and the relationship will bloom.
They Abandon You Often
Have you ever noticed that your partner often gives you space way too much? Everything is going well, and suddenly, they just cut you off for a couple of days and then again come back saying they were busy.
They just abandoned you. Why? Because you are asking for something that they are not capable of providing.
Yes, it is true. Those who want to work on the relationship will never abandon you and make you feel ignored or unloved.
Are Emotional Unavailability & Emotional Invalidation the Same?
Yes, they are actually the same. Being emotionally unavailable is the nature of the person who invalidates your feelings and emotional needs. These are just two adjectives describing the same toxic situation.
If you are unable to find your partner in moments of emotional support, you can describe them as an emotionally unavailable person.
I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but sometimes you need to lose people that you love so that your soul can live happily.
You don’t need to take your needs aside to get love. Those are valid and need to be taken care of.
How to Be Emotionally Available?
Being Emotionally available is not something divine. Anybody can do that. It just needs a little bit of practice and patience. See, sometimes you and I also sound like someone who does not give a damn about people’s emotions.
Be honest, have you ever used these words like it’s fine, be strong, etc.? You did, right? These are also a kind of emotional abuse.
By saying these things, we are actually making the other person feel that their feelings are nothing but an excuse and there is something wrong with them.
We have no right to make someone feel so bad about themselves.
The very first step that we need to take is to stop comparing their situation to something worse.
Secondly, whenever your friend or your partner says something, rather than giving solutions, try listening to them with all your heart and feeling their emotions.
After that, encourage them by reminding them how strong and courageous they are. Moreover, give solutions when asked only.
Try being as polite as you can. They are being vulnerable to you, and you need to respect that.
I hope that you have understood what being emotionally unavailable feels like and what the things you can do to overcome the situation are.
To put it in simple terms, practice kindness. If you cannot feel and respect the feelings and situations of others, you will not be able to provide them support.
That’s why our spiritual practices always tell us to be empathetic and kind.
Furthermore, no matter what problems there are in your relationship, if you both are willing to address them, you guys are already stronger than you think. So, see, understand and take action.