November 3, 2016

Brené Brown on Empathy


I came across this short about two years ago. Everything I was feeling was justified by this video, which was so comforting to me. At the time, I was going through the hardships and the harsh reality of infertility (and miscarriage) and people were trying to make me "feel better" and sympathizing with me. It wasn't their intention to make me feel worse, but some comments did.

While going through my emotional roller coaster, I felt terrible for feeling hurt or even angry when people were only trying to make me feel better. I should change. I should be grateful. I shouldn't be so negative.

Then I came across this video and realized that what I was feeling was ok. I wasn't alone. And my wanting to seek the type of comfort and understanding - empathy vs. sympathy - from people during my hardships was also ok. 

This video has also been a great learning lesson for me as well to be more understanding and being there for others. Because I get hurt with what people say, I hold back my words when people are going through hardships because I am afraid I will say something stupid and hurt them in the process. I am learning to be better at this and always try to remember this video. This will perhaps be a forever lesson for me.  

2 comments

  1. ahh yeah, I'm definitely guilty of saying the wrong thing all the time, the video was a really nice reminder, I guess it's hard not to feel the urge to fix things when someone is sad but sometimes they can't be fixed right? Just be there for people - random thoughts in my head :P

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  2. I'm not good with empathy but I do want it sometimes. When I tell my close friends my problems like what really hurts me, they subconsciously have a habit of diminishing my problems by telling me their own bigger problem. Oh you think you have it bad. Wait till you hear my problem. Or worse. They know a friend/a cousin/a relative's nephew/colleague who had the exact same problem. And you know if there's at least one person out there who has suffered the exact same plight as me, then my problem is nothing really.

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