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Ch 3: What Empathy isn't

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  • Ch 3: What Empathy isn't

    On pg 113: "What Empathy Isn't:

    - Permissiveness: You can (and should) set limits. The key is to acknowledge your child's unhappiness about those limits.

    - Solving the problem: The point is to help him get past his upset feeling so that he can begin to think about solutions himself, not to solve the problem for him.

    - Agreeing: Accepting his feelings and reflecting them does not mean you agree with or endorse them.

    - Probing: "Tell me how you feel" is not empathy.

    - Analyzing: Empathy is accepting and being with what someone is expressing, not making them squirm by digging into their psyche - even if you're right.

    - Catastrophizing: Match your reaction with his mood.

    - Arguing with the feeling: That just invalidates him and makes him wrong for feeling it.

    - Trying to cheer her up: Of course you want to help her past her uncomfortable feelings, but you don't wan to give the message that she needs to run from them. Once she has a safe opportunity to notice, accept, and express the emotion to herself or to you, it will naturally dissipate."

    Which one are you guilty of doing at times? Which one do you think you grew up?

    For me, I am guilty of trying to cheer her up, analyzing, and probing. Probing is a hard one for me because I felt the message I received from other parenting books was what they said to do. But now that I'm reading her book, I think I took a different message from what they were trying to do. So I'm now re-educating myself on what this means. Hahaha.

    I probably grew up with the notion of solving it for me, arguing with the feeling and trying to cheer me up. I don't really recall feeling that my feelings were acceptable because of these reasons. I also grew up with a lot of sarcasm around feelings.