Feeling invalidated

by - July 25, 2021

Over the last few months, I have realised that I have felt invalidated in various ways. So much so that at points I completely stopped even considering how I feel. Sometimes when I have felt invalidated it is due to other people's actions (ignoring how I may feel or completely disregarding it) and sometimes my own choices (such as not considering how I am in given moments). Or a combination of both. However, regardless of whatever invalidation you have faced, what you have to say matters. What you experience is real and no one is in a position to tell you what your lived experience is.

What you feel is valid.

We all experience life differently. Sometimes not feeling okay doesn't have to be linked to an awful event. Mental health doesn't always correlate to objectively how your life looks on the outside. No one has the right to tell you how you feel. Someone doesn't get to tell you you don't feel pain if you do. Only you can know how you really feel. Sometimes certain people can make you feel that they have a right to tell you what you are going through without listening to what you are saying. Or they will ignore what you say and think they know it all from having likened it to their experience. There is a fundamental difference between using your experience to understand others and hearing someone out. People not being able to appreciate your feelings does not make your feelings any less valid or any less real.

There are so many people that do want to hear what you have to say.

It is not worth your time or energy trying to get people who are not interested in your views and opinions to listen. There are plenty of people who will listen to how you feel, and value you for who you are to waste your time on someone who does not. Some battles are simply not worth fighting.

Life is not a competition about who has it worse.

I used to feel really guilty when I was not feeling great because I know that I am lucky in so many ways. Whilst I have faced obstacles, I know that I am in a position of privilege in various different aspects. I lost count of the times I invalidated myself by telling myself I should just get over what I feel because objectively so many people have it so much worse. But when you use
comparison, you will always find someone is in a worse off situation and someone somewhere has it better. Whilst circumstances impact on how we feel, they are not the singular factor - you can be depressed and be lucky in so many other ways.

Check in with yourself.

I have at times invalidated how I felt by completely disregarding how I was in a given moment. Always putting others' needs and emotions above my own. When you are always pushing aside your feelings to try and
help someone else you are effectively subconsciously telling yourself that your wellbeing doesn't matter. That your feelings don't matter, they are not important. Rather, everyone else's feelings are a lot more important. Having done this myself without realising so much at the beginning, I know how damaging this mindset can be in the long run. Being aware of how you really are is always important. Even if you are supporting someone who objectively has it worse.

Just because it is not someone else's reality does not mean it is not your own.

Sometimes how you feel can look different to the people around you. Flat out ignoring others' perceptions can be invalidating to others. However, just because someone in your surroundings feels differently to you about the same thing does not make your experiences any less real. Two people can have very valid emotions and experiences of the same thing.

Keep me going 🙂:

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