This means that what one person experiences as an invalidating environment is not necessarily experienced as such by another.It is possible that individual temperaments affect a person’s general sensitivity to invalidation, but everyone has times when they are more vulnerable or sensitive.
Coupled with a genetic tendency to be over-emotional, an invalidating environment is theorized to be one of the two major causes of BPD.
It is important to note, however, that invalidation—as it relates to the development of borderline personality disorder—is not a periodic experience, but a pervasive one.
It is not one invalidating experience that leads to BPD but rather a complex an repeated exposure to situations in which feelings and thoughts are simply considered unimportant.
A young child goes into the classroom by herself on the first day of school, although she is scared. ” On the other hand, “You were so brave to go in even though you were scared. What a good job you did,” validates the troubling feelings, remarks on the effort overcoming those feelings took, and praises the effort.
However, it is possible to praise while being invalidating at the same time: “Good job. ” This response invalidates the feelings the child was having by calling them “silly,” despite the praising of the behavior.