Are you able to emotionally put yourself in the place of another? When you hear someone speak of a certain difficulty, or even a joy in their life, do you empathize with them, or do you find yourself just waiting for them to finish so you can move on to another topic? We all know that to empathize with someone, you emotionally put yourself in their place, you listen, and you simply recognize their emotions. How many of us allow ourselves to do that?
Can you temporarily stop insisting on your own viewpoint and look for a moment from the other person's perspective; truly imagining what it would feel like if you were in their shoes? Try it next time. You will develop a clearer picture of another person's feelings, gain respect for them, and most certainly have an opportunity to develop a deeper connection. Listen up, and go for the connection!
"Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the heart and soul of another person."
Photo via Doswell & McLean