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Feeling Others Through Ourselves

By Sue Siebens


We are social beings. From our first awareness, we reach out to others for information, necessities and personal safety. Learning to connect and communicate with our caregivers, family and friends involves understanding the nuance of their emotional cues and needs. Empathy springs from seeing our own needs and emotions in the experiences of others. For instance, we can appreciate someone else's amusement if we have laughed at a joke or enjoyed a comedy. The same is true of anger, frustration, disappointment, grief, and loneliness.[1]




Whenever we watch a movie, read a book or scroll through social news feeds, we react because we empathize with the person or characters, imagining ourselves in their shoes. It's a natural consequence of being a social animal. We feel as cool and invincible as James Bond, as victimized as Celie (The Color Purple) and as sexy and independent as Mae West. [2]


Building Social Bonds

Empathy strengthens bonds with those we interact with. If you try to understand them, they will feel seen and heard. This makes them more likely to empathize with you, making you feel more heard and understood, creating strong social networks. Empathy can also

·       Guide decision-making. Being able to read your audience can help you determine whether new ideas or requests will be received openly at the moment.

·       Reduce burnout. Empathy promotes collaboration and communication in all workplaces, especially in high-stress environments.

·       Motivate prosocial behavior. Taking steps to improve the lives of others through donations of time, money, or a hug comes from actively being aware of needs outside yourself.

·       Help diffuse conflict. Grasping another's perspective, even 180 degrees from yours, leads to compromise without losing. [1]



Feeling the feelings of others

Empathy turned inwards becomes an act of self-love—facing the truth of your character defects and past mistakes and honoring the lessons learned and the work to be done. Looking outwards on a macro level, empathy with nature brings awareness and encourages sustainability.

Empathy is feeling what someone else is feeling - being able to walk in their emotional shoes. Sympathy is understanding that someone else has an emotion—knowing they are sad, for instance, but not feeling their sadness. Compassion is experiencing sympathy or empathy and doing something to relieve their anguish somehow. [3]

There are so many ways to feel.



Being highly empathetic can be overwhelming and lead to mirroring those emotions with the same intensity. Hyper-attuning to others can be a developed skill—an adaptation resulting from early trauma or an unpredictable environment. Socializing as a hyper-empath, you may find it hard to identify and maintain your own emotions and boundaries, leading to confusion and withdrawal.

Conversely, a lack of empathy means you will have trouble caring about anyone else. Compassion, trust building and helping others are all based on healthy doses of empathy.


What hinders balanced empathy?

How can you hear another’s emotion and see how it affects them while maintaining your presence and emotional integrity?

Managing your emotional strength and completeness, regardless of another’s emotional state, is at the heart of being emotionally autonomous. If you are emotionally stable within yourself, you can be of complete service to yourself and others without distraction. We are steady, consistent and resilient—not cold-hearted, but stronger through being open-hearted.


Every feeling that knocks you off center is an unprocessed emotion triggered by some external provocation.


People project what they are feeling all the time. It is rare for someone to be successfully stoic. Our ability to empathize tells the story of our emotional past. Accepting the information about what they are feeling and feeling too much yourself, ignoring/being oblivious to what is being said beyond words, or avoiding the emotional conversation altogether are red flags pointing to an emotional release that will benefit your life and social ability.



Your emotions are interfering if you can’t

·       translate verbal cues and tone of voice

·       pay attention to their appearance

·       notice people’s eyes and facial expressions

·       observe their body language and posture

·       and remain objective. [4]


These skills improve by employing Emotional Resolution or EmRes.


EmRes clears your emotional space so that you can be present in theirs.


EmRes processes the old, embedded emotional memories by using your emotional reactions and behaviors to current situations. Whether your feelings are consciously felt or subconscious, EmRes uses our innate abilities to process emotions stuck during high stress or trauma.

It is not necessary to relive, retrigger, or know anything about the original emotional injury that is stuck. The current emotional situation has enough information to point the emotional processing of the body in the correct direction. Once treated and resolved, the trigger is permanently disabled. In any future situation of that kind, your emotional exchange will be more straightforward.


Imagine observing someone else in emotion, being present for them, helping if it’s within your boundaries—allowing them to be seen and heard without getting swallowed in their tornado. It’s a good feeling—a great feeling.

EmRes results are immediate. You will see a change in your empathetic abilities right away.


Are you ready to experience a calmer, clearer empathy that will improve all your social interactions?

 

References

1.      Empathy: How to Feel and Respond to the Emotions of Others, https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/empathy.htm

3.      Empathy, Sympathy, and Compassion – What’s the Difference?, https://compassionit.com/2017/08/27/empathy-sympathy-and-compassion-whats-the-difference

4.      How To Read People’s Emotions: The Art of Reading Other People, https://kentuckycounselingcenter.com/how-to-read-peoples-emotions/

 

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay


About Sue

Sue Siebens uses Emotional Resolution, EmRes, to work at a fundamental level, where the roots of the illness, fear, and pain can be accessed and resolved. Sue teaches and writes to raise awareness about this new technology so that as many people as possible can find relief and peace in their life. Sue is based in Ft Worth, Tx, USA.

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