Listening to validate instead of listening to fix is often the best way to help people learn and grow. Here's why.
1. I hear you.
Validating someone communicates that you hear what they're saying and you're not going to judge them for it. Such behavior creates a psychologically safe space where people can express themselves, orient to curiosity, and solve problems.
2. I see you.
Eye rolling, finger drumming, and checking your phone while someone speaks are forms of nonverbal invalidation and rejection. Studies show that people who receive invalidating responses feel more stress, experience increased negative feelings, and are prone to elevated heart rates.
3. I believe you.
Validation is not the same as agreeing with someone or falsely implying they're right. Rather, it's acknowledging someone's emotional experience as true to them and expressing acceptance of their truth. By doing so, you increase that person's ability to solve problems and gain confidence.
4. I support you.
Validation is a way to support people while maintaining different perspectives. It's also an excellent way to empower others because it conveys to them that you care and value their point of view.