Before you judge someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes

I feel your pain…

I can only imagine what that feels like…

We’ve heard these statements before. They reflect the posture of empathy. Empathy helps us when we are dealing with a difficult person, parent, friend, co-worker, or even a stranger. It is easy to get wrapped up in our own emotions when we are challenged or offended by someone else. We want to strike out, push back, and get a bit of revenge. We want to “put that person in their place” so to speak. Before you feel the urge to lash out at someone the next time you are facing a challenging situation with another person, try diving into empathy:

  • Take a deep breath. Put yourself in their position and see from their perspective.
  • Feel what the other person is feeling. How can you diffuse those emotions and feelings?
  • Remember, they are a person like you who has hopes and dreams, stressors and disappointments.

Getting in the habit of thinking of how the other person got to the place where they are in their interaction with you can help to diffuse difficult conversations. Practice empathy.

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