To feel is the best way to relate…
There’s a word that is spreading like wildfire through our culture.
Popularized by Dr Brene Brown, Shame Researcher at University of Houston and New York Times Best seller.
What is empathy? How do you know you are giving it? How do you know you are receiving it?
The dictionary was not very helpful (stick with me)
“The imaginative ascribing to an object, as a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself.”
Not sure I feel much empathy there.
Is empathy imagined or is it a reflection?
Is empathy a skill you learn or is it an innate human trait? A little of both. It’s a natural way to connect and relate.
There is a need to learn and exercise empathy When used in a caring way empathy can help friends, family and clients feel like they belong.
Empathy is different from Sympathy.
Sympathy is to feel for……. “I feel so SORRY for you.” Causing separation and distance.
Empathy is to feel with…… “I haven’t been through that exact thing but I understand the struggle and the hurt.” Putting yourself and the other on equal ground — relating.
Empathy is at the cornerstone of our natural human ability to relate. To understand. To help others feel like they are not alone. To support clients through a transition. To show respect for one another.