Every human being on this planet has gone through some thangs. If you’re at a stage where some difficult circumstances are behind you, perhaps you also know that it’s only until the next dilemma arises. I read somewhere that we should never be surprised when problems come actually. To simply greet them with a smile and say,
Well, hello. I’ve been waiting for you.”
As if to say hard times are inevitable, perhaps unavoidable and bad stuff happens sometimes. Tis, life.
So, when I came across this video short Brené Brown on Empathy, I thought it would be a good idea to watch it. (Like I said, it’s short and as I hoped, I learned something new.) Not just the difference between empathy and sympathy which admittedly had always confused me, but how to respond when someone chooses to share whatever it is they’re going through with someone else.
“At least …” was always my go-to reply but I was unaware of this pattern. I thought it was a good thing to focus on that silver lining Brown states we’re attempting to place on what we just heard. Going forward, I do plan on simply saying that I’m glad they told me. This would be true because I would hate for anyone I know not to be able to get something off of their chest. I think just being available to listen might ease their burden.
Another personal revelation was the realization that I don’t like to share or divulge too much about myself with friends and it’s simply because I feel that it’s not anyone else’s concern or problem (to fix whatever it is that I’m going through.)
I see now that I was making assumptions and being unfair to myself by thinking I might be a bother in this way. Especially since it’s not with any expectation of them resolving the issue for me, but to simply lend an ear, in the way I genuinely would for another. To resist the urge of thinking I will sound like I’m complaining instead of explaining. Is that possible?
Lastly, the empathy video reminded me of something else I read during a PSYCH 101 course on how to approach a person experiencing the loss of a loved one. It was simply a topic that piqued my curiosity because frankly, I never knew how to treat that delicate situation when it ultimately came around. I gained helpful insight on how to appropriately comfort or console a person in this case (the details of which will comprise a separate post.)
For now, I’m pleased to report that if you ever share your troubles with me, you will not hear me say “at least,” at last!