Communication Skills – 9

Empathy

EMPATHY

Reviewing last week’s post at the point where I mentioned my creative answer to a rejection. The part about her switching to a yes because of my sincere heart.

This sincerity fits with this week’s topic. How many times have you told a story or explained a situation and the other person’s expression is blank or else tosses off a token sympathy statement?

Sympathy and empathy have different meanings. If you’re sympathetic, you feel sorry that another person experienced a bad time. Empathy means you’re sharing that emotion. You might feel closer to the person because you’ve experienced something similar. Or by sharing or having that emotion, you might be able to better help the other person.

In social situations, empathy can be shown by showing that similar experience with a short story of your own. Maybe a gesture or a hand on the shoulder and some sincere words. Avoid trite phrases, but offer to assist it the situation calls for it.

What about asking my coworker for a date? Again, a bit of the above might be used on the first date. I would need to be involved with with her words, really listen (discussed next time), tailoring my responses and watch what words I used.

Backing up to the asking, I think the sincerity of my offer is key, the emotions I put into my words. No, I don’t mean begging for an evening of dinner and dancing (yes, I do now how to dance), but something a bit more solid than, “Hey! You. Me. Dinner. Friday night. What do you say?” Brief and specific as discussed in a previous post, but hardly the real feeling exhibited.

I don’t think the sincerity will be the problem. Exhibited confidence, yes. Confidence in voice and stature is needed. Avoiding the desperation attitude can be overcome by strong confidence.

If that is shown, then empathy and the sincerity will be there.

Any suggestions?

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