Everyone, at one point or another encounters conflict in life. Empathy is the most powerful way to overcome a conflict and connect on a deep level with somebody.
We Need Empathy To Give Empathy
Being empathetic towards others will come naturally if you know how to be compassionate towards yourself. The way that you talk to, and regard yourself is the exact same way that you will treat others.
It is important that you pay careful attention to your own self-talk. If you find that the way that you speak to yourself is negative, you need to create new thought patterns that contribute to a self-compassion rather than self-deprecation.
You are special, valuable, and you deserve to be treated with respect and love. Once you truly believe and embody this, your love will naturally flow towards the others that you interact with.
Pay Attention To Your Unmet Needs
Avoid guilt-tripping, judging, or blaming yourself. Every emotion you experience and subsequent choice you make, even if it turns out not to be the best choice, stems from a unmet need.
You deserve the time and effort that is required to discover what this unmet need is. All of your needs are a part of being human and are nothing to be ashamed of.
For instance, let’s say that you get angry with your partner because he or she is not spending enough quality time with you. For whatever reason, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for this and your relationship needs have been neglected.
It is common for people to guilt-trip themselves for feeling angry. They tell themselves that they are being selfish for wanting more quality time and they should just tough it out and get over their feelings.
This is exactly what you should do if you don’t want to solve your problems. Letting your feelings fester without addressing them directly is what leads to bad decisions and overall unhappiness.
Instead of guilt-tripping yourself, realize that your anger is caused by your need to be loved. You need to feel a connection, and love from your partner and the best way to get those needs met are through spending quality time with them.
Approaching your emotions in this way will make you a professional at empathizing with yourself, and this will carry over to your interactions with other people.
Make It A Habit To Identify The Feelings and Needs of Others
When you instead focus on someone’s feelings and needs rather than their actions or thought process, it is much easier to understand them.
It is significantly easier to relate to them when you are communicating with them through your heart rather than your mind. Empathy means trying to perceive a situation through another person’s eyes.
This also means trying to feel what they are feeling, and trying to understand why they feel this way. You will need to delve deep and discover the needs that are triggering their feelings.
The more you practice identifying another person’s feelings and needs, the easier it will become to connect with them through your heart. You’ll find yourself having much more pleasant interactions with others.
You’ll even find yourself relating to, and understanding people who you might have been repulsed or disgusted by in the past. You will be able to see the humanity in everyone, and this is exactly the type of perception you need to be a master at empathy.
Please note that these ideas come directly from the work Nonviolent Communication, the most useful book that I have ever read that teaches you how to interact with others and yourself in a compassionate, loving manner.
Do catch yourself thinking negatively about your feelings or guilt-tripping yourself? Do you think that you may be judging yourself or other people unfairly? Leave your thoughts below 🙂