Posted by: jude49 | June 27, 2016

Want to Solve Problems…Use Empathy!

Hello Readers!

One would think that if someone comes to you with a problem, they want a straightforward, logical response. Not necessarily so!

A question for you…What happens when you express your feelings about and you are cut off with statements such as “Oh, don’t worry about that” OR “She didn’t mean it that way” OR “Why are you taking that so seriously”…I imagine you might feel “small” or hurt or dismissed. You’ll probably feel some tension in your body…a knot in your stomach, for example. And you may be thinking you were dumb for expressing your thoughts and feelings. You may even think your thoughts and feelings are dumb.

What if the other was curious about your concern and asked questions such as “Tell me more…” OR “I can hear your concern. I’m here to listen” OR “Yeah, I’ve had a similar experience. Feels upsetting” I imagine you would feel “heard” as these statements indicate that you are listening and showing empathy. Thus, empathy is seeing the problem from the “other’s”perspective…putting yourself in the other’s shoes, so to speak.

When empathy occurs, a valuable connection is made. And that connection can lead to “calming big emotions.” Big emotions overwhelm the left, logical brain. When the emotional brain is calm, that’s the time good decisions are made. Good decisions need input from both the emotional AND the left logical brain.

Problems abound…they are a constant in life. Next time you encounter a problem with someone, I challenge you to listen to the “other” perspective.

Warm Wishes,












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