About Me

Empathy.

A Facebook friend shared this yesterday and I wanted to sexy-kiss it, I love it so much. I would add one more line. The person who sympathizes on the ground above the hole? The person will often also offer tips like, “Hey! There’s a ladder! Climb out!” And most of the time you know about the ladder but you just can’t use it yet. Often it takes the empathy from someone to give you the strength/energy to use the ladder.

Donnie and I have very different levels of relating to people and many times they fall along the sympathy and empathy lines. I try to explain to him how different they are and how, when you’re hurting and you need support, the empathy is what you need. We have that stereotypical fight often where I’m all I don’t want you to FIX it, I just want you to listen to me COMPLAIN about it and tell me how much it sucks! I KNOW how to fix it!

Of course, I sit here and write that and can tell you a VERY concrete example in our marriage where the EXACT OPPOSITE happened. He was needing empathy and I was offering some sort of distant/cold level of sympathy. He’s been on the injured list for awhile now and he had a set back this week and he was upset and really needing someone to get down into that hole with him and tell him how sorry they were and to try to share some of that pain.

But I was busy with something on my laptop and was frustrated with other things and did ah, “That sucks, hon…” without even looking at what he was trying to show me on his knee.

Yep! QUEEN OF EMPATHY! That’s me!

But most of the time, it’s the other way around. I swear!

This was just a really great video, to me, about the difference. And about how important empathy is in relationships. There’s a “saying” of some sort that just says, “If there’s a funeral/visitation….GO.” And man, I hate funerals and visitations. It’s not the death, it’s the people. I just don’t do people well in normal, low-pressure situations. But put me in a setting where there’s social norms and people who might need certain things from human interaction? And I screw it up every time. I’m just blubbering, never say the right thing, probably laugh in appropriately, I’m sure I get names wrong and details and I’m just a HUGE MESS.

But I try to always go. Because of that simple statement that just going is often what your loved ones need. Just that you showing up, admitting how much it sucks that this person has died and offering support in the form of your presence at this event. And even though I’ll probably go down in history as being the person most consistently the most awkward at funeral services, I do still do my best to go.

Empathy is simply a powerful tool in relationships and it has saved me time-and-time again when dished out from loved ones. Hell, it has saved me when dished out from kind strangers. I’m also grateful I’m in touch with the ability to offer empathy in return.

Except, obviously, when it comes to my husband. He’s just on his own and often lucky if he even gets sympathy out of me instead of the usual, “SUCK IT UP AND BRING ME A BEER!”

In case you missed it – I’m trying to get to 4,999 entries by the end of the year. This means I’ll be posting double most days so feel free to either follow me in your favorite feed reader (I’m trying out Bloglovin but I’m also still using feedly because I don’t know if I like either of them yet) or…SUBSCRIBE ON MY SIDEBAR! How awesome is that? I’ve been meaning to add that for awhile and keep forgetting but it turns out there are 27 people already using it. Don’t ask me HOW they figured out how to do it, they’re obviously smarter than me. Anyway! Subscribe! And (hopefully) receive email notifications when I post!

5 thoughts on “Empathy.”

  1. I have used both Feedly and Bloglovin’ and MUCH prefer Bloglovin’. I do kind of hate the name of it, however.

    I am not the queen of empathy, but I am a fan of Brene Brown!

  2. Wow. . .kiss it on the face indeed!!
    This is a fabulous reminder about the giving of ourselves and opening our hearts. What a wonderful lesson. Thank you for sharing it. I definitely need lessons like this as I prepare to start another year.

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