10 strategies to bounce back from feeling dismissed or undermined

Are you tired of feeling like your emotions are constantly dismissed or undermined? In this latest article, we dive into the topic of emotional invalidation and its impact on our wellbeing and relationships.


Emotional invalidation is a common yet harmful experience that can have a profound impact on our mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. It occurs when someone denies, dismisses, or undermines our emotions, making us feel unworthy, unimportant, or incorrect.

This can lead to self-doubt, anxiety, depression, and an erosion of trust and intimacy in relationships. We may turn to food for comfort from such pain and injustice. In this post, we will explore ten ways to bounce back from emotionally invalidating situations and maintain a positive sense of self.

  1. Come back to your body. Pay attention to your inner sense; the feeling of your physical sensations, what's actually happening in your body when you feel something, the images that you get, and the memories that come up. All of this is incredibly useful information. Just focusing on your body can help your nervous system to calm down.
  2. Recognise that your nervous system is triggered. Your system may be in a physiological threat response. You may recognise that the response you're having may relate to your core wounding.  When you know how you've been hurt in the past and all the belief systems that came out of that, you can learn to recognise when this is triggered in the present. Just recognising that you are physiologically triggered back into that wounded feeling can help your system to calm down.
  3. Remember that emotions are temporary. Keep in mind that your feelings will pass, and they don't define who you are. By recognising the impermanence of emotions, it becomes easier to move forward and heal from invalidating experiences.
  4. Practice self-care. Engage in activities that help you relax, unwind, and feel good about yourself. This can include exercise, meditation, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones who make you feel valued and understood.
  5. Focus on your strengths and accomplishments. Remind yourself of your positive qualities and achievements. This will help boost your self-esteem and self-worth, making it easier to bounce back from emotional invalidation.
  6. Acknowledge and validate your emotions. Give yourself permission to experience and process your emotions, even the negative ones. Suppressing your feelings can lead to further emotional distress and unhealthy coping mechanisms, like comfort eating. 
  7. Communicate your feelings to the person who invalidated your emotions. Calmly explain how their response made you feel and the impact it had on you. This can help create understanding and empathy between both parties, potentially leading to a more supportive relationship.
  8. Create safe space relationships. Surround yourself with people who validate and support your emotions. This may involve distancing yourself from those who consistently invalidate your feelings.
  9. Join a supportive community. Connect with others who understand and share your experiences. This can provide a sense of belonging and validation, helping you heal from emotional invalidation.
  10. Seek help. If you're struggling with the effects of emotional invalidation, consider asking yourself what a mentor would do, or talking to a mental health professional.

By working on your emotional well-being and nurturing healthy relationships, you can overcome the effects of emotional invalidation, and foster a stronger sense of self-worth, so that you can validate yourself, and take your power back. But if all else fails, bonus! Ask yourself, what would the legendarily self-validating pop star, Lizzo do? She's sure to provide the sass you might need to learn to smile again.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Bristol, Somerset, BS4 2DS
Written by Shelley Treacher, Therapy for anxiety, depression & relationship difficulties.
Bristol, Somerset, BS4 2DS

Core recovery from anxiety, low self-esteem, comfort eating or toxic relationship patterns. Shelley Treacher 'Underground Confidence' BACP Accred. "Having experienced and overcome chronic worry, loneliness and comfort eating myself, I now empower you through the process."

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