Communicating Well-Validation & Affirmation

Psychology Today January/February 2021 pp50 “Affirmation or Validation?” “ Why Validation May Be The Key to Communication” by Marisa T. Cohen, Ph.D. (Author of From First Kiss to Forever)




Part of a series of articles on the topic/need for validation. See this article for detail on the Summary offered below.


Summary of Brief

“When affirming something, you are offering support, or asserting something as fact.” As an example, a husband agrees with his wife’s assertion that they should spend more time together.


“Validation, unlike affirmation, does not means that one person agrees with the other. Rather, to validate someone is to acknowledge and accept their feelings, thoughts, and beliefs.” In this case the husband is saying “I understand that you want us to spend more time together.”


“It’s important to realize that not all discussions will reach a mutually agreed upon consensus: however, in the interest of open communication, both partners should be able to express their views.”