To centre ourselves, to create a space of awareness, to show compassion to ourselves and others, to integrate both good and bad experiences of our lives is all one massive task. The good news is we have loving teachers who can point us in the right direction. This post is on one of them.
To respond with empathy might be our intention but it’s not as easy it might seem.
Our busy and caring minds tend to jump to so many potential responses, yet we have to be aware that not all of them are what creates that meaningful connection.
So what is an empathetic response and what are the common mistakes we make?
Deep listening is a thing: if you’ve ever felt that you weren’t truly seen in a conversation then you know it’s real.
How can we improve our listening skills?
What frameworks and reminders can we use?
I have some suggestions for you. That’s a mix of what psychology, Buddhist psychology, and nonviolent communication point to.
Fear is a companion we’ll always have. How we live with that companion is a choice: we can do that in ways that don’t serve us and we can put conscious effort to manage our minds just a little bit better.