One of the most common dissatisfaction that I hear from people is that they feel alone, isolated, and don’t really have any real/true friends. Honestly, I often feel that way too! Being a business owner, wife, mother of 4, and being a bit of a growth junkie doesn’t leave me a lot of “free time”. Also the fact that I’m a really task-driven person & an introvert works against me a lot of time. I know I constantly miss opportunities for connection without even realizing it!
When you do have a moment where there’s an opportunity to connect with others, what do you do? How do you capitalize on that moment to really connect and leave the possibility of future connections? The most important skill to have in your back pocket is the skill of empathy. Some of you know really well what empathy is, what it looks like, and how to do it. Some of you, however, aren’t as sure. I know this because I get to talk to people in the same boat as you all the time. But the good news is that because empathy is a skill, not a magical ability you are either born with or not, you can practice it and get better at it!
Empathy is the skill where you are able to feel with someone. Imagine that your struggle is a pit. Empathy isn’t someone jumping into the pit with you and taking on your emotions. They don’t own your emotions as their own. If they do that, then you both get stuck in the pit and that isn’t good for anyone! Empathy is when someone lowers themself into your pit, but tied to the outside world with a rope. They are with you, but they haven’t owned the struggle.
It’s easy to confused sympathy and empathy. Dr. Brene Brown addresses this head on and of course does a pretty darned good job at it.
Watch this great animated video below …….. and we’ll continue the conversation about empathy tomorrow!