To tell the difference between empathy and investigation, watch for distinctions along four different dimensions: energy, subject, intention and trust. These distinctions can help us engage awareness and skill to meet your needs and respond to others’ needs in more direct ways. The more you meet your needs in conscious and direct ways, the more present you can be for others. Read on for more about how to do this.
Shared vulnerability can build more intimacy, mutuality, being seen and heard, empathy, or community. Inviting shared vulnerability means earning another’s trust that you can consistently offer attentive, curious, and compassionate listening. Here are four strategies to invite shared vulnerability.
Misunderstandings can be painful. We can easily avoid this by checking what the other person understood from what we said, and ask the other person to do the same. Doing this is especially important when it comes to planning, shared decision-making, and when emotions are strong. Also, the more someone knows you, the more they think they already know what you mean -- which can get in the way of really hearing you. Here are a variety of ways to approach this simple strategy.
Effective and connected dialogue requires significant self-awareness, mindfulness, and skill. You can focus on any of these six areas that most often escape your awareness: anchoring and staying grounded; boundaries; thoughts and beliefs; stuckness or attachment; feelings and needs; and requests. Read on for a list of questions to help you focus on how to do that.
In general, criticism is a reactive response discomfort. When someone criticizes, they are not yet able or willing take responsibility for their needs. All criticism is a tragic expression of feelings and unmet needs. When you meet that criticism skillfully you not only care for yourself, you can facilitate clarity, and constructive communication, about what the other person is truly asking for.
Finding your power in seemingly powerless situations doesn't mean denying what happened, your feelings, your needs, nor the behavior of others that didn't meet needs. It does mean reexamining those situations with the intention to compassionately look for your contribution and for clues to your hidden perceptual biases. Read on to learn about about finding these clues, and more.
For each reactive pattern there is a perceived threat to a tender need. Knowing these tender needs helps us figure out how to interrupt these patterns and creating new ways of perceiving and relating to life. In addition to knowing the need, knowing the healing response and the primary reactive behavior helps with transformation.
If you're stuck when making a decision with someone, it's likely that you've skipped hearing and connecting to one another's needs. Slow down and listen for what's really important underneath the content. This allows you to make decisions that are more fulfilling and harmonious.
Some arguments stay stuck because each person thinks it's about the content of the argument, rather than the needs each person is attempting to protect. When the needs get attached to the strategies a "no way out" scenario gets created. Instead, fully step into one another's worlds and connect to the feelings and needs behind the strategy each party is putting forth. Read on for six elements to creating empathic connection.