Real Empathy Takes … 👯Jul 10, 2023
Hope you’re enjoying summer in full swing!
… Real Empathy takes more than words. Real Empathy takes WORK. Empathy is a skill- because being empathetic and knowing how to show real empathy is actually NOT something that is innate or intuitive. We may be naturally sensitive to others, but there is more to empathy than being sensitive.
Let’s dive in to one of my favorite topics. When I was in Graduate School, almost every one of my classes included a component on increasing empathy skills and the different ways to do that. Empathy needs to be developed, and in many cases learned.
Fortunately, empathy can be developed! Whew. Empathy can and must be learned. And bottom line, empathy is something we all crave and something we all need.
So here we go. Let’s talk empathy.
Empathy is about fully engaging with someone and wanting to understand what they are saying from their perspective.
Read this ^^ twice - it’s so important! 🏼
Not that this ever happened to me, but I’ve read in the research that this happens: You know when you’re cooking supper and one of your little children is telling you a reallyyy long story and you kinda really want to follow but got lost on the details early on so you’re pretending that you’re ‘holding’ but when you say something, it’s pretty clear - and pretty frustrating on their end - that you are not fully engaged and certainly not looking to understand the details? Yeah, I heard that happens sometimes.
That is the scene of “not empathy.”
Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s space. Empathy is listening to their story with both ears and seeking a level of understanding from their perspective.
Real Empathy is being able to see the world how they see it. Not mixing your views and viewpoints into their story. It means stepping out of yourself. And into their world. To be there with them.
Real Empathy is hard to do. We are sensitive and kind people. But being truly empathetic is a higher level and it takes time and effort to perfect, like any other skill.
Children (and adults, sorry but it’s true!) are naturally self-centered and have a hard time stepping out of themselves. So many of our conversations are filled with children (and adults) having completely non-empathetic responses. These conversations are lost opportunities to be there for the people around us, especially when the people around us are vulnerable enough to be honest and open.
Overheard at the playground:
Child A: I hate sleepovers. Once, I had a sleepover and I was so scared in the middle of the night that I packed my bags and slept at the front door so I could leave first thing in the morning. I was crying the whole night- I couldn’t wait to get home…
Child B: Seriously? I love sleepovers! The last time I had a sleepover I told my parents not to pick me up for a week! And even a week was too short! Man, I would have stayed for the year. We were able to take ices whenever we wanted - it was the coolest house ever. I can’t wait to go back.
Child B responded from their perspective completely, turned the conversation about them, was not available to see Child’s A perspective, let alone feel their pain and definitely was not able to respond with empathy.
We, Adults do this all the time too. And too often, even to our own children (which is why they do it too.)
We need to teach ourselves and our children EMPATHY skills.
We owe it to our children to teach them.
But great news! I’m here to guide you!
SOCIAL SKILLS MADE SIMPLE. - our Virtual Course- teaches you how to do just that. I am personally humbled by the outpouring of positive feedback from parents and families who have changed their ways based on the teachings.
BUT, DO NOT BUY IT TODAY! 🎉
It is soon to be going on sale in a SUPER SUMMER BUNDLE SALE that you will not be able to refuse. We are working on making the deal so sweet to be able to invite all of you to join in the fun in our Socially Appropriate-ish course family!