Table of contents:
Video: Empathy Is The Sister Of Love - Self-development
Empathy is the ability to empathize. This is an opportunity to understand the thoughts, feelings, experiences of the interlocutor, the ability to put oneself in the place of another person. Understanding is the basis of trusting communication between a man and a woman, partners, friends, parent and child, loved ones. Harmonious relationships cannot be built without it. But what is the mechanism for this understanding?
In place of another
A man came to the consultation and talked for a long time about his son's problems: "He is irresponsible, disorganized, does nothing useful …". I suggested that these claims be expressed by referring to an empty chair and imagining that he was saying this to his son. "You are irresponsible, you are disorganized, you do nothing useful …". Then the man sat down in the place of his son and felt into his condition, and I uttered my father's phrases, repeating the intonation as much as possible. Then he asked what his feelings and sensations were … He thought …. It was clear that something was happening to him…. Finally, he said: “I feel disrespectful, lost, pressured, I want to squeeze into a chair …”. The simple procedure provided rich material for reflection and understanding. Already at the next meeting, the father said: “I understood how my son feels and began to communicate with him in a different way,I try to build a dialogue with him, even now we, though a little, have become closer to each other."
When we understand that the interlocutor feels hurt, anger, disappointment, we begin to behave differently; the desire to prove oneself in the right and by all means to be the winner is replaced by the desire to hear the partner and keep the relationship. How often are we focused on our "want", "I need", but relations arise between two, right? If I understand another person, it means that I no longer want to devalue him, then I begin to respect him. And if I can feel someone else's pain, I have less and less desire to inflict it.
Can Empathy Be Learned? And love? It is very difficult. Stereotypes, past experiences, scenarios, and fear of meeting face to face with the experiences of another person interfere. After all, it may turn out that I am the cause of his suffering. Understanding the feelings of another person (especially those close and dear) can lead to an awareness of the need for one's own changes. But are we always ready for them?
Technique 1 "Evening viewing"
Imagine the person with whom you had communication today (husband, wife, child, friend). Remember any emotionally significant situation that happened to him. Answer yourself to the question: "What did he experience?" It is important to clearly identify feelings, for example, anger, irritation. For example, your friend lost his phone. What emotions did he experience? Resentment? Confusion? Over time, you can complicate the exercise and represent your partner in the process of communication with you. This will give you more insight into what emotions you evoke in a loved one.
Technique 2 "Swap places"
Place a white sheet in front of you and imagine your communication partner standing on it. Imagine in detail what color he is wearing, what is his facial expression, facial expressions, gestures, posture. It is important to connect the visual perception. Now slowly step onto this sheet. This is important because by changing your position, you also change your inner state.
Over time, as empathy develops, you don't need to. Now you will see the world through the eyes of another, including yourself. Take a pose that is characteristic of this person. What emotions are you experiencing? How do you feel about yourself (as a partner)? How do you perceive your voice? What makes you angry and what makes you happy?
Technique 3 "Empathic listening"
In the process of empathic listening, you express understanding and solidarity with the feelings of the interlocutor. For example, “I understand how angry you were at that moment”, “I feel how much you enjoyed your vacation at the sea, it was really great!”, “If someone told me that, I would also be offended”. Empathic listening is essential for building trust between interlocutors. By expressing an understanding of the other's feelings, you show interest in him and begin to see the situation through his eyes. Of course, this should not be a mechanical assent, sincere empathy is important. Practice in ordinary situations: your child received a deuce, a colleague had a wonderful vacation in Egypt, your wife broke her favorite vase.
Empathy in psychotherapy
A method that obviously contributes to the development of empathy is psychodrama. In psychodrama, one of the main tools is the need to feel the state, emotions, feelings of the participants in the therapeutic process. Replacing this or that real person from the client's life, the deputy is immersed in his state as much as possible. A nice bonus of this format is that in most cases, substitutes participate in the process for free.
Very often a person, having been in the role of a deputy, says: "Now I understand how he feels, now I understand how he treats me!" As a result, accusations and evaluations disappear. When we feel the state of the other as much as possible, then we understand what kind of pain or joy a person experiences. Such an understanding radically changes our attitude towards close people, and often after understanding comes forgiveness or a willingness to change ourselves.