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July 16, 2019

Have you ever had someone crying to you? Maybe your girlfriend had a brutal day at work and fell apart when she came through the door. Or your mom lost it while reminiscing about her deceased brother. Or your close friend broke down about her difficult marriage while having a coffee conversation with you. Interacting with someone who's sad and hurting can be awkward, you want to be there for them, show your empathy, and strengthen your relationship, but it's hard to know how to act and what to say. A lot of us end up sitting there uncomfortably, offering some awkward back pats. And a lot of us end up saying something that infact make them feel worse.  We have all encountered situations where someone says something to us or does something to us that makes us feel dismissed, or worse still, denigrated, and judged. In other words, we end up feeling invalidated. Invalidation is the act of rejecting, diminishing, ignoring, judging someone’s feelings. It is one of the most damag...

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