Recently, I listened to a book called I Don’t Have to Make Everything All Better on Audible. I was curious to pick up this book, because, as a guy, I want to fix things, like a lot. After several conversations, fixing a bad situation that I don’t own kind of bugs my wife. But dudes want to fix things! Things can be stable with constant work! But that is to my perception. Everyone has their own perceptions and their own lives that they can handle.

As the Validation book taught me, being able to fix a bad situation is far from the point in relationships. Fixing bad situations in another person’s life is trying to control things that one doesn’t truly control and it risks crossing the line of being controlling of the other person.

It is a poor decision to control situations that I don’t truly control, because I start to get invested in the situation. As the Stoics would teach, being invested in a situation that one does not fully control means that one’s own happiness could be dependent on another’s situation. One’s own happiness is more stable in part when someone realizes what he or she truly controls. I can decide to be happy if I really want to be happy.

There are opportunities to influence a situation, but it must come across in one’s mind that they still don’t control the bad situation. And since one’s influence can be present, it must be expressed as a suggestion or advice that the hearer can implement or change. Influence can only be a suggestion, advice, or something similar. The hearer can not feel like they are being controlled, even if they are welcoming it. They are the masters of their own happiness; only they control their own happiness. They must learn how to handle a bad situation as it comes so that they give themselves their own happiness.

So, validation comes in play when someone is sharing a bad situation to another. Validation is necessary to show to the person with the bad situation that they aren’t alone. The person won’t be alone, because the validator would be recognizing the problem. One is there to accompany the other as the bad situation unfolds. Recognition would relieve the person of holding a bad situation all by themselves. Someone can validate the bad situation with saying things like, “yeah, that does suck”.

I have learned that first validating then comforting the person with the bad situation is a great way to go. It enables the person to experience life as life truly is, and then our relationship can be strengthened by validating and comforting them. As a Christian, I would also be following Christ in walking with a person that is suffering. Once the person with the bad situation experiences what they are having, then they can be comforted with praise of the qualities they definitely have.

I learned that even if fixing something is as methaphorical as removing a nail in another’s head, fixing a situation is far from the point. There may be a nail in another’s head, but there’s also a nail in my head too. Everyone has nails in their own heads, people just take the nails differently because we are all unique. As the Validation book would point out, people just need a listener and a validator to affirm that yes it does suck. Hopefully in the situation, better words would be used. Anyway. A bad situation is a bad situation. Simple and easy. And the person with the bad situation is an adult and very capable of making their own decisions.

Post Script

People are very capable of making their own decisions for their own happiness. This is with the context of no mental disability. There may be cases in which a mental disability may inhibit happiness from occurring. If that is the case, then a psychiatrist should be visited.