You have had a down and out day and the events of the day are still unfolding and the people you have come across during some of those vulnerable moments makes you feel that the world can be a punishing place. You feel unsafe to expose your feelings to others during some of those moments.
You almost feel you are falling apart, and you need your feelings to be met with love, understanding and acceptance without judgement.
What are you looking for in such an impasse ?
Isn’t that Empathy?
Empathy is the ability of putting oneself into the mental shoes of another person to mirror connect and understand the emotions and feelings (joy or sadness) experienced by that person at that moment in time.
Empathy involves 7 elements in my view
1. Emotional intelligence is the cognitive ability involving traits and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behavior. It involves understanding emotions including non verbal signals, body language and facial expressions. Responding appropriately to the emotions of others is key to facilitating insight.
2. Mindset – Staying human and having the right attitude to connect to another person at that moment when they need you the most.
3. Present – You are present and in the now. It is not about the past or future but being aware about another person’s feeling at that moment.
4. Attention – Demonstrate your interest in the person through your body language, facial expression, and gestures to encourage someone to continue speaking. “Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention” ~Jim Rohn
5. To Listen – You listen to understand rather than respond. Sometimes, in order to elicit more of a response from the other party, you need to pause and say nothing.
6. Help Encourage – Use supportive comments to get someone to continue to open up. Gestures like nodding your head, appropriate facial expressions, eye contact can accompany, “I see,” “Really,” or “Oh no” to provide the necessary encouragement for the person to continue to release the emotional turmoil they are going through.
7. You Recognize Feelings: Feelings reveal critical aspects of what is important to a person. Identifying an impasse by Saying, “I see that you are angry” or “I am sorry but something seems to be upsetting you,” are ways you can bring someone’s feelings out into the open.
In Summary, by empathizing you show that you care, you are listening and you are concerned of the other person’s ideas, feelings and how it has impacted the other’s perception.
Do you have any experiences to share or views on what you think is Empathy? Please feel free to comment. Thank you.