Of Vaxxers, Truckers and Mrs. Brown
To vax, or not to vax. To support the truckers in Ottawa, or not to support them. These divisive issues came up quite a bit. When we discussed it last week, we came to the conclusion that it's best to listen to people and make them feel heard, but never get involved in the arguments for either side, because that will break down the relationship.
That reminded of the beautiful little video that Brené Brown has posted on the internet many years ago. She's an amazing coach, speaker, leader and she speaks about these things very well. In this video, she shows the difference between sympathy and empathy.
In sympathy we're in a kind of a superior position and we're looking down at the other person and you're speaking out of your safe place. You're telling the person what to do, but you're just giving sympathy, whereas empathy is where you come alongside the person. You're curious about the person, you are realizing they're hurt, and you're just simply there for them. And that's what you convey to them. They need to feel heard, and they need to know that you're there for them.
I urge you to use empathy whenever you’re with people. I've realized that even though I may find their point of view, maybe even ridiculous, they are actually going through a process and they may be in real pain. They're in a place where, if I look critical or I come across as bringing sympathy or anything like that, it is not a good thing. I simply need to come next to them. I simply need to let them know that I understand they're feeling pain, they're going through this difficult process, and I'm there for them. I'm there to support them.
Watch the little video, you'll really enjoy it > Brené Brown on Empathy
Until next week, and this week, remember when you see a divisive issue, use your superpower of empathy, come alongside people and just be there as a resource to protect your relationship with that person.
At the end, we'll all find joy