If you’re looking for ways to expand your life to make it richer, more dynamic, more peaceful, connected and prolific… empathy may be your key to the castle of personal greatness.
If you’re looking for ways to forgive the unforgivable, removing the wedges that have been driven between you and someone else, or a group… empathy can help you to unwind the stuckness.
If you’ve been searching for ways to be more helpful, more present, more dynamic and more in love every day… empathy is a key.
Empathy is the leaping into someone elses vantage point, imagining life as they’ve led it, imagining their point of view and their feelings. It’s the solution to the most vexing problems, the solvent to all kinds of disagreement…
We’re all unique. Every single person’t reality is unique. What brings us together in the deepest ways isn’t “understanding” the facts of each other’s lives… it’s being able to actually suspend our ownreality and imagine life as another leads it, looking through their eyes, listening through their life experiences.
Empathy makes life extraordinary.
It’s the quality of empathy that makes society able to co-exist.
Empathy invites connection, emotional expression, sensitivity to your audience and friends and co-workers and peers. Empathy mets down drama and creates more understanding. Empathy can help you get your point across and it can help you to find freedom from anger and strife.
Empathy brings us together.
Lack of empathy creates epic destruction.
If you’ve ever been in a toxic relationship, you’ve possibly found yourself begging for empathy from someone else. Something like: “Why can’t you ever canre about my feelings…?” or “How could you do this to me…?” or “How could you be so cruel?”
Yes, some people lack empathy. Not everyone was raised in the same ways and not everyone connects in the same ways to life. In fact, at the extreme, the ability to turn empathy on and off is psychopathic, but luckily that’s just about 1% of the population, and even that 1% can be healed with willingness.
Expanding your own sense of empathy closes the distance between you and everyone you love. Taking the time to cultivate more empathy instead of anger or judgement or fear creates more peace and power in your life.
Empathy is vital for our survival. A study at Duke and Penn State found that children with more empathy were more likely to graduate from high school and maintain full-time jobs. Those subjects that were not as empathetic were more likely to not only drop out of high school, but were more likely to get detained as juveniles.
Empathy is an energy of wellness. A review of studies on positive empathy entitled, The Emerging Study of Positive Empathy, conducted by Sylvia Morelli , a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at Stanford University, and Matthew Lieberman who received his PhD at Harvard University, concluded that positive empathy, “correlates with increased prosocial behavior, social closeness, and well-being”.
An article written in Psychology Today, by Elliot D. Cohen, PhD, gives some great guidelines HERE on how to be a more empathetic person.
Some ideas to spark your own greater empathy in situations where you stand in judgement, in anger or otherwise feel disconnected from life…
*Put yourself in someone elses shoes instead of focusing deeply on your own feelings. This takes courage when you’re angry but it also creates a lot of power. I remember years ago I was publically harassed by the CEO of a company. For him, it was a joke. For me, it was a nightmare. I asked him just one question: “Imagine someone said what you said, just how you said it, to your daughter.” Needless to say, the apologies were profuse that followed.
Do not try to “fix” other people or their problems. Let go of how you think things should be, how they should look or how anyone else should live. If you’ve had addicts close to you in your life, this is a big one to look out for, because we all know that techically noone should need to live addicted to substances or behaviors that are destructive. Cultivating understanding and support WITHOUT fixing anyone else is a big deal. Empathy doesn’t mean you are obliged to remain closely entangled with people who aren’t healthy to be around… but with empathy, it’s easier to seperate yourself with compassion.
Psychologist Blythe Clinchy coined a method called connected knowingness. She explains that in order to understand how someone else feels you need to, not only, “look at it from that person’s point of view”….but, “say yes to it.” Accept that both of you are different people and you are not helping yourself, you are trying to help someone else. Instead of having separate knowingness, which would be saying something like, “I don’t understand how you can do this?” …or “Why would you stay with a boyfriend like that?” ask open-ended questions and allow yourself to hear the answers without judgement.
Become a listener. Listen to what people have to say. If you don’t understand, ask questions and listen much more.
And… in general… feel much more than you think.
Feeling is everything.
Move toward more of what makes you feel expanded… move away from the things that make you feel contracted…
But when you’re caught in a space where the things you love, the things closest to you, have become laden with obstacles, and you can’t simply move away… put yourself in the shoes of another and feel your way to greater peace and understanding.
It’s not always easy… but you’ll grow so much in the process, it’s so awesome.
Welcome to Creating Genius!
I spent the last year creating this e-guide to balancing and unblocking life by pulling together the best of a decade of space-changing and life-shifting feng shui! It’s 50 days and 50 ways to use feng shui to shift your space and your routines to move from “stuck” to creatively inspired and alive.
Gather up your magic & make gorgeous dreams come true!