Relationships

Dangerous Curves Road Sign

When Validation is *Not* the Answer

If you’ve ready my other content, you know how passionate I am about emotional validation. But you also may have wondered to yourself, “is there ever a time when validation isn’t the answer?” In all my years of research on the topic, I’ve only found one instance where validation can do more harm than good.

Two Women Talking

How to Validate Someone: The Four-Step Method

While the concept of validation is relatively simple, knowing how to effectively implement it in your day-to-day can be a bit more difficult. The Four-Step Validation Method is a tried-and-true approach to giving validation and feedback in nearly any situation. I reverse-engineered it from thousands of successful validation experiences and boiled it down to four basic steps. Each step is accompanied by several key principles that provide additional insight and direction.

Two Birds Talking

What Do I Do If My Partner is Constantly Complaining?

“I have a fear that if I validate my wife’s feelings, I will become her venting box. I do not want to come home from work just to listen to all the things that went wrong in my wife’s day, and then I say “oh babe, I’m so sorry. That sounds hard,” and then rinse and repeat. I want our interactions to be positive. Not negative. Am I wrong in thinking that it shouldn’t be my job to listen to her (or anyone else’s) negativity so that she (they) can feel better?”

Boundary Sign

Boundaries: The Secret to Finding Balance and Happiness in Life

Do you have a hard time saying “no” to people, because you don’t want to be rude? Is there someone in your life you’re always covering for, because they’re consistently late, can’t be counted on, or frequently act irresponsibly? Or perhaps you’re always helping people, but no one ends up ever being there for you?

men boxing

How Do You Validate Someone When They’re Angry With You?

Learning how to validate another person’s feelings is a tremendously valuable relationship skill. But what about when they’re angry at you, or accusing you of something that isn’t true? Why on earth would you validate that? And if it’s really all that valuable, *how* do you do that?

How to Avoid Commitment Traps

One of my pet peeves is when people ask a favor or a commitment of some sort, but instead of leading with the request, they first ask if you’re available. “Any fun plans for Saturday?” “No, not really.” “Great! I’m moving and would love your help. It’ll only take all day.” I call these “commitment traps,” and, while they’re annoying as all get-out, I’ve devised a simple, fail-proof way to navigate them with skill and grace.

Best Relationship Books

5 Must-Read Relationship Books

All relationships take work. We as humans are always learning; always looking for a way to do things better. To be better connected. To have more compassion for others—or to have more compassion for ourselves. The following five books are among my most recommended, for their insights, practical advice, and general ability to bring greater awareness and satisfaction into your day-to-day relationships.

man giving compliment

How to Give Better Compliments

Earlier this week, I gave a presentation to a group of leaders on the power of validation in business. The next day, I flipped through my inbox to discover several thank-you emails from managers who had attended the training. One message, however, taught me a valuable life lesson…

Woman Holding Dog

Healthy Relationships Need Space

In any relationship where two whole, complete, capable people come together, they will each have interests outside of each other that add richness and excitement to life. And it’s simply not reasonable (or healthy) for either partner to expect the other to give them 100% of his or her time, attention, and energy.

Couple Arguing

Is Your Partner Making You Unhappy?

Do you ever find yourself feeling stuck, frustrated, resentful, or angry toward your partner? Or perhaps, instead of anger, you just feel bummed out that your relationship isn’t quite how you’d imagined it. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking everyone else has a better relationship than we do. Today we’re going to challenge that thought.

Communication in Relationships: No One Can Read Your Mind

In today’s world, many people give up on relationships too quickly. The moment things get tricky, they bail. Or they simply resign themselves to living in an unhappy, conflict-laden life. The fact of the matter is this: any relationship can be improved if both parties are willing to work on their communication.

colleagues talking on bench

How to Validate Someone When You Don’t Agree With Them

As I continue to share the power of validation—whether through my book, speaking engagements, podcast interviews, etc.—I receive thoughtful questions from readers and listeners that dig deeper into the day-to-day application of this versatile skill. Today, I’d like to address the question that I receive more than any other…

Expectations: The Silent Killer of Relationships

Prefer to listen? Check out the related episode from the I Hear You podcast. This post is part of an ongoing series from my upcoming Highbrow Course: “10 Days to Better Relationships,” which is focused on—surprise!—improving your relationships. Today we’re talking about expectations—the silent killer of relationships. How aware are you of your day-to-day expectations? Of what …

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Empathy: The Power of Getting Into Other People’s Shoes

This post is part of an ongoing series from my upcoming Highbrow Course: “10 Days to Better Relationships,” which is focused on—surprise!—improving your relationships. Today we’re talking about empathy—a critical element of strong, healthy relationships. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. When we have empathy for another person, we …

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Use “And” Instead of “But” for More Effective Communication

Years ago I came across a simple principle that – after making a habit in my own life – made a profound difference in my day-to-day communication. It enabled me to give more direct and constructive feedback, allowed me to share my opinion without dismissing others’, and helped me better validate other’s feelings. The magic principle? Use “and” instead …

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