Invalidation in psychology refers to the act of rejecting, dismissing, or minimizing an individual's thoughts, feelings, or experiences. It involves discrediting or undermining a person's emotional or psychological reality, often leading to feelings of frustration, self-doubt, and emotional distress. Invalidation can occur in various forms, including denial, ridicule, or indifference, and can have significant negative effects on an individual's mental well-being and self-esteem.

Examples of Invalidation

  1. Dismissing Feelings: When someone tells another person, "You're overreacting; it's not a big deal," they are engaging in emotional invalidation by minimizing the other person's emotions.

  2. Belittling Experiences: Mocking someone's fears or anxieties, such as laughing at a phobia, is a form of invalidation that can be hurtful.

  3. Ignoring Concerns: Ignoring a person's requests for support or not acknowledging their pain can also be a way of invalidating their experiences.

  4. Denying Reality: Telling someone that their perception of a situation is entirely wrong can invalidate their perspective.

Application Areas

Invalidation can occur in various contexts, including personal relationships, workplaces, and educational settings. It often arises in situations where individuals fail to acknowledge or respect the thoughts and emotions of others.


The risks associated with invalidation include:

  • Emotional Distress: Individuals who experience invalidation may suffer from heightened emotional distress, leading to anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem.

  • Communication Breakdown: Repeated invalidation can damage relationships and hinder effective communication.

  • Self-Doubt: Consistent invalidation can lead individuals to doubt their own thoughts and feelings, eroding self-confidence.


To avoid or address invalidation, consider the following recommendations:

  1. Active Listening: Practice active listening by genuinely paying attention to what others are saying and acknowledging their emotions.

  2. Empathy: Develop empathy to better understand the feelings and experiences of others.

  3. Validation: Express validation and support for others' emotions, even if you don't fully understand or agree with them.

  4. Open Communication: Encourage open and respectful communication to create a safe space for sharing thoughts and feelings.

Treatment and Healing

Individuals who have experienced chronic invalidation may benefit from therapy, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). These therapeutic approaches can help individuals recognize and cope with the emotional impact of invalidation, improve self-esteem, and develop healthier communication skills.

History and Legal Basics

Invalidation is a psychological concept that has been recognized and studied for many years. While not a legal term in itself, some forms of invalidation may be relevant in legal contexts, particularly in cases involving emotional abuse or harassment.

Examples of Sentences

  • The constant invalidation of her feelings left her feeling isolated and unheard.

  • His invalidation of her experiences only exacerbated her emotional distress.

  • The invalidations they experienced in the workplace contributed to a toxic and unsupportive environment.

  • He realized that he had been invalidating her emotions and resolved to be more empathetic in the future.

Similar Things or Synonyms

  • Discrediting
  • Dismissing
  • Minimization
  • Negation


Invalidation in psychology refers to the act of dismissing, rejecting, or minimizing an individual's thoughts, feelings, or experiences, often resulting in emotional distress and self-doubt. It can manifest in various forms, including denial, ridicule, or indifference, and can occur in personal, professional, or educational settings. Invalidation can lead to emotional distress, communication breakdown, and self-doubt. To address or prevent invalidation, active listening, empathy, validation, and open communication are recommended. Treatment for those affected by chronic invalidation may involve therapy to improve emotional well-being and communication skills. While not a legal term, certain forms of invalidation may have legal relevance in cases involving emotional abuse or harassment.

Related Articles

Deprecation at■■■■■■■■
Deprecation in the psychology context refers to the act of diminishing one's own self-worth or value, . . . Read More
Publicity at■■■■■■■■
In the realm of psychology, "publicity" refers to the state or condition of an individual's thoughts, . . . Read More
Name-calling at■■■■■■■■
Name-calling using negative or stereotyping words when in disagreement. In psychology, the term "name-calling" . . . Read More
Emotional component at■■■■■■■■
Emotional component refers to one person's feelings toward the object of an attitude. In psychology, . . . Read More
Puberty at■■■■■■■■
Puberty refers to the biological transition from childhood to young adulthoodPuberty is a stage of development . . . Read More
Damnation at■■■■■■■■
Damnation in psychology refers to a deep and pervasive sense of condemnation, guilt, or self-reproach . . . Read More
Amputation at■■■■■■■■
In the psychology context, amputation refers to the experience of losing a limb, either through surgery . . . Read More
Externality at■■■■■■■■
Externality in the psychology context refers to a concept that involves the impact of external influences, . . . Read More
Hallucinatory at■■■■■■■
Hallucinatory refers to anything related to or characterized by hallucinations. Hallucinations are perceptual . . . Read More
Basic suggestion effect at■■■■■■■
Basic suggestion effect refers to the tendency of hypnotized persons to carry out suggested actions as . . . Read More