One of the best ways we can endear ourselves to others is by validating them and their ideas.
Even the most self-confident person you know needs validation.
By validation, I mean telling them they’re on the right track and that their ideas are good. That can be implied or explicit.
The opposite is also true – cutting down people, implying that their ideas don’t have merit, or that they are just flat out wrong, is a great way to destroy a relationship.
If the person’s ideas are (in your opinion) wrong, or you think they are not moving in the right direction, the best way is to lead them to see it. Now that can be extremely frustrating, particularly if you’re good friends with the person. But it is usually the only way you can fulfil your need to save the person from a bad situation while preserving the friendship.
The thing is, how often do you make it clear to those closest to you that you think they’re on the right track? Maybe you’re implying it a little too subtly.
My wife does validation very well. She leaves no doubt in your mind that she thinks you’re doing great. It makes you feel like you can accomplish anything, which is a very powerful thing. She’s like that, not just with me. I’ve seen her affect on many other people. It’s one of the reasons everyone loves her.
Validation is different from praise. Praise tells the person how good they are (which has its place). Validation tells them what they think is worthwhile and that they matter. I believe validation is a lot more powerful than praise.
Learn from my wife. Look for little ways you can validate someone today.