Thursday, October 15, 2015

Be understanding of others: Empathy

The REAP Formula for Success and Satisfaction in your Life:
Respect, Empathy, Appreciation, and Politeness

Empathy increases our understanding of others.

We have been discussing respect and its importance. You’ll remember we described respect as our regard for someone, their actions, or things of value. Empathy is often a helpful step in the process of coming to respect someone. Empathy refers to our understanding of others and their situation. It usually involves being aware and sensitive to their circumstances and their feelings. A common example is having empathy for someone who has lost a close relative. If we have experienced the loss of a loved one, we likely remember and understand the painful feelings that accompany their grief. Empathy helps us consider why others may act a certain way, or voice a particular opinion.

Here’s an important point about empathy. Learning to consider the thoughts and feelings of others gives us the opportunity to think about what we say and how we act towards them. This is essential for our personal growth. Consider how many times you spoke about something without thinking, and how often you wished you could take your statement back. Often, hurt feelings resulted from the verbal exchange.

Remember, you have a choice about the people, behaviors
and things you decide to respect.

Respecting someone includes consideration of their thoughts and feelings, as well as their circumstances. Empathy provides us with the insight and sensitivity to do this successfully.

The REAP Formula reflects key considerations for growing in healthy ways.  The letters stand for Respect, Empathy, Appreciation, and Politeness. Learning to embrace these traits provides a blueprint for respecting yourself, relating to others in positive ways, and personal growth.

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