Did you know that empathy is not this:
Updated: Dec 12, 2022
Did you know that empathy is NOT:
feeling sorry for the person (feeling sorry is sympathy)
agreeing with the person’s feelings (you can respond to ther person’s feelings but you don’t have to agree with the reason’s for those feelings)
giving your evaluation and saying that’s good or bad
giving your opinion and saying what you think
making a judgement and saying you agree or disagree
So - what is empathy?
When coaching my clients, showing empathy can look like this:
I am listening to what you say, to how fast/slow you are speaking, to how loud/quiet you say certain things.
I am also listening to how your body is communicating and changing when you talk about different situations/people/ideas etc and what feelings are coming up when you speak.
All this, I share with you because sometimes, although you show what you feel and you say what you think, you might not understand yourself because you cannot see the whole picture.
By listening & understanding you, I tell you what I see and hear. So you can feel heard, so you hear what you say.
By feeling heard, you get closer to your thoughts and feelings.
It all becomes visible. And once it becomes visible, change is possible.
Impressive, huh. How we might think of certain qualities as “basic” or “normal” things. But no.
Empathy is more than normal. Empathy stimulates change.