Posted October 19, 2022 by Mark Perna
Episode Title: Validate Them
What does validation mean to young people today? It’s a big deal to them and here’s why, coming up next on The Perna Syndicate.
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You’re now in The Perna Syndicate—welcome! As we talk this week about forging a human connection with young people, we have to cover validation. It’s something every young person wants, whether they know it or not.
First off, what do I mean by validation? One definition calls it “the act of affirming a person, or their ideas, feelings, actions, et cetera, as acceptable and worthy.” That pretty much sums it up, although I would argue that validating someone doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they’re saying. I’m talking mainly about validating people, not necessarily ideas or perspectives.
Everyone has a story behind their eyes, situations and choices in their past that they want to feel validated for. They want to see the understanding in your face, to hear the empathy in your voice, and to know that they are understood.
If a young person (or anyone, for that matter) is telling you about something that they find hard, validate them. Don’t compare your challenges to theirs and tell them they have it easy compared to what you had to go through. That’s the opposite of validating, and it will destroy your connection with them.
Instead, just listen actively and with intent. Ask questions and pay attention to the answers. Let the young person express their thoughts without judgment or interruption. And then say: I understand. Yes, that must be hard. I’m sorry you’ve had to experience that.
That is the kind of validation that builds a truly meaningful human connection.
Tomorrow: Can you build a human connection when you’re screen to screen instead of face to face? Let’s talk about on the next episode of The Perna Syndicate. Take care and we’ll see you then!