Friday, April 27, 2012

empathy

I've read many NIAW posts this week and many were really good. One stood out to me though and has stuck with me all week.

Jill at Infertility Unexplained wrote about the need for empathy in relation to infertility in this post.

This is my favorite part about what she wrote:

"If I have to give you an analogy to make you understand my experience then you are not listening, nor are you trying to engage me with empathy."
This is so true and what has been so hurtful to me when it comes to my friends and family. Why is it so hard for you to understand my pain? And if it really is hard to understand, is it that hard to try to understand?

I'll explain it all day long if I need to. If you will just listen. I don't need you to try to fix the situation. I don't need you to be my doctor. I don't need to know that you don't understand because it was easy for you. If you can't relate to me, you're not trying hard enough.

I think empathy is the key to world peace. There. I solved it.

Boom.

10 comments:

  1. Both of you are dead on. Unfortunately, many people don't know how to empathize. Because the key to empathy is being willing to step outside of yourself to allow yourself to be open to what others are living with emotionally. It's a hard thing to do.

    So, on that note, I'm glad to have found both you and Jill as well as everyone here. Because all of you are able to listen and know that there are moments when it's just better to be.

    Been thinking of you. Will continue to do so.

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  2. Totally agree. Empathy requires you to put aside your thoughts/feelings/urges and just be open for the other person. So few people can do that. The IF community is special in this way. Such strong individuals who are all in their own personal hells are still able to open their minds and hearts to every unique situation.

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  3. You are SO right! I have friends at work who KNOW what I'm struggling with - but they still do NOT "get" it...even one girl, who's 2 years older than me and has three children (a 10, 5 and 4 year old), who had lost her first when she was very young and talks about that with me sometimes STILL says all of those things to me that I, as an infertile, am so sick of hearing and it does NOT help. "it'll happen when you stop trying" or "just relax"...etc, etc,
    Yes, she lost her first pregnancy over 10 years ago, but she has three children. She can not understand what I'm going through. :( I swear, sometimes, it feels like no one can.

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  4. You couldn't be more right. I sometimes feel like I carry this anger around me toward people. When they initially learn you are going through something like this, every reaches out, sends texts, cards, and after a few weeks, months it wears off. The problem is WE are still going through it, every day. Oh, this is such a hard life to live sometimes...

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  5. i can empathize because i've been through it. i wish i couldn't, but i can. i'm sorry you have to go through it too.

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  6. It's hard for most of us to be empathic and show understanding because it a skill we don't have... http://www.skillswork.org

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  7. How true, people get so wrapped up in their own problems or they just can't deal with other's issues, that they are already moving on when you are answering their generic question of "how are you doing?" Empathy is what everyone SHOULD have but few can actually give. Thank you for sharing both posts.

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