Empathy That Heals
Listening empathically to someone (no advice, etc) can really relieve the other person’s tension. Ending the conversation early can sting. People will open up more the more you listen empathically.
When dealing with superiors, be less defensive and apologetic and more empathic. It is naturally harder to empathize with people who have more power, status or resources.
Empathy And The Ability to Be Vulnerable
Baring our deepest feelings is hard. But the more you empathize with someone, the easier it is to express ourselves to them. In fact, others will more likely listen to you if you empathize first (otherwise they make fun of you, etc).
In times of pain, first get empathy to clear out the immediate thoughts in your head. If someone says something hurtful to you, think of their needs that made them say it. This will prevent you from reacting.
You may need to empathize a lot before someone trusts you.
Using Empathy To Defuse Danger
Use empathy even in dangerous, threatening situations. And seriously avoid the word “but”.
Rather than put your “but” in the face of an angry person, empathize.
When we listen for feelings and needs, we no longer see people as monsters.
It may be difficult to empathize with those who are closest to us.
Empathy in Hearing Someone’s “No!”
When someone rejects you with a “No!”, we tend to take it personally.
Empathizing with someone’s “no” protects us from taking it personally.
Empathy To Revive a Lifeless Conversation
Many people find conversations that don’t have feelings, needs, or requests very dull. If you’re the recipient, then interrupt and empathize.
To bring a conversation back to life, interrupt with empathy.
Another method: “I’m feeling impatient because I’d like to be more connected to you, but the conversation isn’t creating that connection. Is this conversation meeting your needs, and if so, what needs?”
You may think it rude to intercept this way, but:
Speakers prefer that listeners interrupt them than pretend to listen.
Empathy for Silence
People find it hard to empathize with silence. When we express ourselves vulnerably to others and not get a response, we project our worst fears. We should empathize with the silence.
State what you think of the silence: “I’m sensing from your silence that you feel … and need …” Keep going if you don’t get a response. You can intermingle with your feelings and needs.
Empathy lies in our ability to be present.