Invalidation judges, mocks, & rejects a person’s feelings. It also implies or says directly that the person is deeply flawed or crazy.
Invalidation is an attempt to control another person & their feelings, as well as to distract that person from abusive behavior. It hinders or even destroys a person’s ability to trust his or her own feelings, perceptions, & intuition. It is similar to gaslighting in that respect. It forces a person to believe that his or her beliefs, thoughts, feelings or even physical presence are flawed, difficult or of no value. It at best damages self-esteem, or at worst destroys it.
Invalidation frequently occurs when an abuser is confronted about her abusive behavior, or the abusive behavior of someone else (for example, a husband may invalidate his wife when she complains about his mother’s bad behavior). The purpose is to take attention away from one’s flaws or abusive behavior, & to turn the attention onto you and your (real or imagined) flaws instead.
Interestingly, a person can invalidate themselves as well. Trivializing your own wants, needs, accomplishments, or feelings, is a form of invalidation. Essentially, you’re telling yourself that you don’t matter, there is something very wrong with you, or your thoughts, feelings, or beliefs are wrong. This type of behavior is often learned in childhood, but it also can come from being married to a psychologically abusive spouse. Paying attention to your thoughts & words about yourself can determine if you do this. If you are, then you can make the appropriate changes.
As you read this, remember: you are worthy! Your feelings, thoughts & needs matter! You are ok! You are not crazy! Treat yourself accordingly, as a man or woman of value, who God loves dearly!