What about the ability to experience and validate emotion?
There are various levels of validation to be used depending on the situation.
The man in the video says, “that must be hard,” which is an appropriate level of validation for the situation.
Boys are often raised to be practical and seek solutions while ignoring and repressing every emotion except anger.
They are told to “man up,” “deal with it,” or “get over it.” Sometimes girls are told the same things.
In fact, most of American culture is about pleasure and convenience, “pursuing happiness.” For those of us who have ever had a good cry—and I mean sobbing into the couch, convulsing, hiccuping—we know how good it can feel to release that kind of emotion.
The satisfaction one gets from pounding a pillow or running around the house when one is angry is incredible.
He could also add, “I’m sure other people would feel the same way,” or “I would feel the same way in your situation,” if either of those things are true.
If he can’t personally relate to her experience, he doesn’t need to.
The expression of unpleasant emotions is often a means of solution in itself, or at least a way to escape its immediate effects and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Validation is also a way to make unpleasant emotions feel a little more pleasant.
Historically women have been better at recognizing and expressing their feelings, but validation has never been easy.