What is the difference between agreeing with a persons feelings and validating their feelings?
closed as off-topic by JSBձոգչ, user49727, FumbleFingers, mplungjan, MrHen Oct 9 '13 at 23:31
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When you agree with someone's thoughts or feelings, you essentially take it on as your own. If I were to show you a ball and say, "The ball is blue" and you agreed with me, you would be saying that you also believe the ball to be blue.
Validating someone's thoughts or feelings is something used quite frequently in psychology and counseling, and is regarded by some to be a bit of an advanced communications skill that really relies on active listening.
By definition, you validate someone's thoughts or feelings by acknowledging that they make sense and you understand where they are coming from. You don't have to agree, nor do you have to take them on as your own. Additionally, it doesn't require you to actually defend someone's thoughts or feelings, but it does help during the communication for you to go over some of the reasons as to why they might think or feel the way they do.
To validate someone’s feelings means to affirm the validity or worth of their feelings. it functions as the opposite of to reject or criticize someone’s feelings.
Oxford Dictionary Online:
Acknowledging the validity and worth of a person’s feelings is different from agreeing with them. Agreeing with someone’s feelings is a way of saying you have the same feelings, or would have the same feelings in the same situation, or that you agree with the person’s beliefs and opinions which led to those feelings.