Emotional Invalidation, 101

jenniferlreimerMad Society, Poetry, Prose, Personal, Transcend7 Comments

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First, a few quotes from my pal R.D. Laing:

“When we invalidate people or deny their perceptions and personal experiences, we make mental invalids of them. When one’s feelings are denied a person can be made to feel crazy even they are perfectly mentally healthy.”

“True guilt is guilt at the obligation one owes to oneself to be oneself. False guilt is guilt felt at not being what other people feel one ought to be or assume that one is.”

If you refuse to read past this point, it is guaranteed that you are responsible for emotional invalidation.  See ya!

Common Phrases Uttered By Those Who Invalidate

  • “That is totally absurd!”
  • “Grow up/Get a life
  • “Don’t be so sensitive.”
  • “Your life is not that bad!!”
  • “Stop being so emotional.”
  • “Stop taking everything so personally!”
  • “You are blowing this way out of proportion.”
  • “Don’t you ever think of anyone but yourself??”
  • “This is getting really old/pathetic.”
  • “I help you!  I’ve tried to help you!”
  • “Don’t let it get to you!”
  • Get over it. Get over your problems.”
  • “We’re all sick of everyone being mad at each other so please, just shut up, and get over your problems.”
  • You just need to get over this.
  • “Don’t be/look so serious all of the time!”
  • “Don’t look so _____.”
  • Don’t think so much!!!
  • “It doesn’t bother anyone else, why should it bother you?”

Right now I am in a place where hearing these words is a part of my daily existence.  I’m not going to last much longer.  This is to say, I don’t care where I end up, as long as I don’t have to hear this crap.  I know my feelings are valid because, I feel them!

Emotional invalidation, the most damaging form of emotional abuse, (“but this is not an abusive environment!” cries emotional invalidator #5027304) a concept from psychology that I actually believe in very strongly, being victim to it, and the damage done, all my life!  As do, well, all psychologists, including R.D., Freud, Jung, and all the rest.  And all people of sound mind.  If you don’t want to believe me, Google “emotional invalidation.”  Now, this is not to say that all persons invalidated aren’t frustrating people to deal with.  However, a reasonable response to emotional invalidation is:

“I feel judged/invalidated/hurt.  Please stop.”

This is the response of someone with a high understanding of emotions, and a high “emotional quotient”. A personal with a low “emotional quotient”, that is to say, a person who has a hell of a hard time understanding how other people feel, will jump at this as an opportunity to keep on invalidating!

  • “You’re being too ridiculous for words.”
  • “I refuse to have this discussion.”
  • “This kind of talk just makes me sick.”

Oh, really?  Does it make you “sick”?  Does it keep you up all night?  Does it make you self-harm?  Does it make you contemplate suicide on a daily basis?

Does it make you want to die, to just drop dead, here, now, please, just let me fucking die?


In all honesty, I would rather live on the street,

than hear another word of this garbage.


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jenniferlreimerEmotional Invalidation, 101

7 Comments on “Emotional Invalidation, 101”

  1. Pingback: Practice of Madness » Invalidation As Abuse – Launching EmotionalInvalidation.com With Dr. Kevin Keough

  2. Vicky

    Hello, I appreciate what you have been through. I've also experienced this invalidation in a way that affected me so severely. I think I experienced it as a child and that did something to my sense of self and my development, or whatever word you wish to choose, as it's confusing. But then I experienced it in later life, particularly in one relationship and then I had a crisis. During the crisis I felt like I was around invalidating people, I returned to my mother's house, very ill. I felt as if a part of me was trying to push through and be recognised… whatever this part is? the true self? the inner child? I'm not sure but it was an energy that felt true and needed to be heard. However of course – this wasn't going to happen. I felt like I got crushed… I spiralled down even more. I disintergrated became dependent and needy. Did this part of me get lost again? Invalidated again.
    I searched the internet for 'invaldiation' etc and tried to make some sense of what was happening to me. But of course when i uttered that this may be a problem for me, really trying to get better…. I was mimicked 'invalidation' said in a baby tone… What chance did I have. But how strange that instead of me just being able to walk away and realise that they were in the wrong, this twisted me up so much inside… questioned myself… fought with myself… confused me.. I feel that this part of me needed validation in order to be real and grow… as though it was disconnected with my consciousness. Does anybody else recognise this? I would like to be able to articulate the process of what invalidation did… it wasn't in my head, it was in my body…

    1. storiesandscars

      Yes, very much!! Emotional invalidation is the foundation of many potential problems later in life…. try a Google search… I'll send you some good resources when I'm less busy in a few days! I was called a crybaby throughout childhood/adolescence…. I started hiding in the bathroom if I had to cry and I learned how to pick tears out of my eyes…. not healthy behaviors and ones that came back to haunt me…. more soon! XO

  3. Max

    Emotional invalidation is very hurtful. Sadly I've had absolutely zero luck showing an invalidator that they actually invalidate emotions, so it can be extremely difficult to deal with this behavior. If someone invalidates your emotions on a continual basis, please seek help in the form of someone who's truly there for you and/or a therapist. It's important to have a support network, whatever network you can find. You're not alone in this, and it's important that you begin to recognize this behavior and work to heal the scars it has caused.

  4. jenny smith

    this is a nice article but there is too much flashing stuff and advertising everywhere to even get to the bottom of it

    1. storiesandscars

      :) We're on the same wavelength…the ads are coming down for a month, please see the right sidebar, re: giving campaign. I would love to keep this site ad free.

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