#jkltip Avoid labels. When we label other people or groups then we subconsciously create our first divide making empathy more difficult. Instead of “teachers & students” just think “people”
Here’s a secret, life hack if you will. You will be a better friend, family member and teacher if you practice empathy, which is far different from sympathy. The biggest challenge people seem to have with empathy is the unconditional, non judgemental part.
Our projections of what is right, or wrong onto others
Our beliefs that your problems aren’t all that bad
Our beliefs that you must have an ulterior motive
Empathy is about connection, when done right others gain an intrinsic appreciation that they are not alone, that you are there for them, to truly understand and listen. In my own experience looking back, many of my teachers, family and friends had sympathy, or at least they tried to, but weren’t capable of empathy.
While important in it’s own right, sympathy actually further divides connection, because we intuitively appreciate that person doesn’t understand, doesn’t “get it”. When we work intimately with others, empathy is the secret to creating a true shared space, a safe place for mutual problem solving, comfort and connection.
It’s not easy though, it takes vulnerability because we often push those negative things down deep inside our gut and in order to truly empathize we need to reconnect with them. Like any skill, we can’t just say the magic word. Empathy needs to be explicitly learned and practiced. You don’t get strong by saying the word push up. So get out there and start seeing through their eyes.