Is not invalidating
So, the first thing to learn in validating others is to be able to identify something to validate in a "sea" of conflict that is both valid and important to the other person. It could be as simple as validating how the other person feels.Finding a validation target and mirroring it back from the other person's perspective (empathizing) is the crux of effective validating. It could be mirroring back the other person's rationale of how they are seeing things and why they feel the way the way they do.There is little empathy in saying “I'm sorry if not having the car tonight makes you feel bad”.It's much more empathetic to say "Wow, after telling your friends that you would drive everyone to the movie tonight, I can really understand how embarrassing not having the car is".In practice, however, many of us fumble with this life skill.Invalidation is often very subtle - we don't even realize we are doing it.
The concepts of "not invalidating people" and the concept of "being validating" are really easy to grasp, intellectually.It can be as simple as negative body language, a look or not saying something when one would expect something to be said.Validation, on the other hand, is not mindless submission to another person.Your daughter is upset because her husband cut up her credit card.She says he's treating her like a child and is very controlling.
Often, if we are experiencing a communication breakdown, or if there is a wall between us and someone else, it most likely has been built with the bricks of invalidation. Mastering it will greatly elevate your emotional intelligence and your of validation to feel good about themselves.