The problem with this kind of response is that it invalidates the other person.
I know when others have tried to “fix” my feelings, I’ve ended up resenting them because it made me feel foolish for feeling that way in the first place.
As Brené Brown puts it, “rarely can a response make something better.
As the listener in the State of the Union meeting, empathizing will be difficult. Empathy is only possible when you have removed all preconceived ideas and judgments about your partner’s feelings and needs.
Below are four skills to improve your ability and willingness to empathize. When you assume responsibility for your partner’s feelings or take messages personally, you’re blaming and judging.
I’m sorry, did we forget about Taylor Lautner, Joe Jonas, John Mayer, Cory Monteith and Jake Gyllenhaal (and those I forgot about)?
Because, Taylor, you’ve been linked to all of those dudes since 2010. I’m not her biggest fan, but I’m not trying to slut-shame her here.
Being “rational” about the facts inhibits empathy because it invalidates emotions. Gottman suggests concentrating on what your partner is feeling. What I really crave in these moments is not for someone to throw a rope down, but for someone to climb into the hole with me. This is why Brené Brown says empathy is vulnerable.