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Empathy – Showing that you care

Showing empathy says, “I care enough about you to take the time to understand your feelings.”

Giving someone empathy is better than giving charity or doing a chessed (an act of kindness). Charity is just with your money, a chesed requires that you get more involved but it still stays external to you. Empathy is a much higher level, because you need to give of yourself with your emotions and feelings.

Usually men are pretty bad at this, probably because they are taught to toughen up and get on with it, and that emotions are for girls. Women are usually great at it. If you ever hear a woman on the phone to one of her girlfriends, you will hear the most amazing array of empathetic comments. “That’s terrible”, “Oh no!” “I can’t believe it”, “How could that happen”, and “I would be so upset if that happened to me.” It comes naturally to them.

Showing empathy is a declaration that I enough care about you to take the time to understand “where you are coming from”.

TIP: If you are in a fight, never say “How can you think that?” The answer is easy. She thinks that way because she is not you – from her perspective it is also obvious. You have to try to understand where she is coming from.

TIP: Never say, “What are you complaining about, it’s no big deal!” YES, it is a big deal to him. That is invalidating him and is one of the big danger signs in a relationship.

To successfully show respect and create a safe environment in your home, you have to be able to demonstrate to your spouse, that you know where they are coming from.

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