Empathy: The #1 Misunderstanding

We all know how important empathy–the ability to understand and share the feelings of another–is to a friendship, but sometimes it’s easier said than done!

Do you ever hear a friends complain about her finances and think, “I’d give anything to have as much money as she has! Why is she so worried?!?”

Or, hear a friend complain about gaining five pounds and just roll your eyes and think, “She’s so skinny– she has no right to complain!”

Or, listen to a single friend vent about how busy and exhausted she is, and feel like screaming, “Are you crazy? Try working full time and raising 5 kids at the same time!”

While we want our friendships to be safe places to complain and vent about our lives, the truth is that we often feel more frustrated or annoyed with our friends if we don’t feel like their circumstances warrant their feelings.

Since it’s impossible to be both empathetic and judgmental, watch this 3 minute video about how to show up with more of the former, even when tempted to feel the latter.

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2 Responses to Empathy: The #1 Misunderstanding

  1. Lizzy says:

    What a great reminder!

  2. lk says:

    This advice on relating to the feeling rather than the circumstances is very good. I only wish it had been in writing rather than video, because I am not a fan of video content.

    Any suggestions re what to say to friends if you feel they are judging your circumstances and right to complain? Thank you.