The One Essential Skill Everyone Should Learn, According To A Therapist

Knowing how to do this can strengthen all of your relationships.

two people look down at the camera with their hair falling over their face Inneska Sakhno | Shutterstock

If you had the power to change the world for a day, what skills would you want everyone to learn?

Would it be to be more empathetic or to become better drivers?

According to therapist Kristina Virro, there is one essential skill that makes all of your relationships far stronger and better.

The One Essential Skill Everyone Should Learn

The skill everyone should learn, says Virro, is knowing how to validate others.


RELATED: The 21 Most Essential Life Skills Every Woman Should Have

Now, you might be thinking people already have that skill or this isn't an important skill to learn.

But if we look back, we might see why this skill is key for maintaining strong relationships with others.

When a loved one opens up about a problem, our first instinct is to jump into problem-solving mode. But in doing that, we miss their feelings and end up making it all about ourselves.

We might try to relate or stay positive, but what our loved ones need is comfort and understanding, says Virro.

Let's face it they've already rationalized the situation in their head and they've tried to remain positive.


So instead, try saying, "Yeah, I get why that sucks. I would have felt the same way if I was in your shoes,” says Virro.

To validate their feelings doesn't mean you have to agree with them. It just means you can understand where they are coming from.

Though validation is a great skill to learn it can take effort on your part. So, what are some other useful tips for learning how to validate those around you?

Validation is a communication skill that shows other people that you're truly listening to them.

According to Human Performance Resources by Champ, when we validate others, we express our love, respect, and acceptance of their point of view, even if we don't agree with them.


So, if you want to express this try repeating what they've said, suggests Human Performance Resources by Champ. Say, “You’re upset because of x situation.”

Repeating signals to your loved ones that you are listening to what they have to say. Through feeling heard your loved one begins to feel understood.

RELATED: 7 Tiny Life Skills That'll Make You Infinitely More Attractive

In addition to knowing how to validate others, you should make sure to seek clarification and ask questions.

Ask questions while they're explaining the situation and clarify when needed. Doing this ensures you get the situation right and leaves no room for confusion on your end.


Be sure to watch your body language, warns Human Performance Resources by Champ. Crossing your arms or rolling your eyes can make your loved one feel defensive and misunderstood.

Keep your attention on them and put away any distractions. Nobody wants to pour their heart out to a person who is scrolling through TikTok.

Finally, engage in validating actions. If they're having a bad day, suggest going out to eat or going on a walk, advises the Human Performance Resources by Champ.


It's important to create a safe space that allows our loved ones to feel understood and cherished. After all, don't we all want to feel supported and encouraged?

So, by listening to understand rather than to respond, you can build healthier, stronger relationships with those who matter most to you.

RELATED: What We Get Wrong About Emotional Validation, And How To Get It Right

Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.