Does that title even make sense? We all know the importance of empathy when someone is struggling. That's a given if you want to build good relationships with deeper connection. But what about when someone shares exciting news or a huge success they have achieved? When you climb into the celebratory ring with them and really engage with their emotions aren't you being empathetic?
Brené Brown's definition of empathy includes "a way to connect to the emotion another person is experiencing; it doesn't require that we have experienced the same situation they are going through." So when my friend tells me about the big money she will make for a two hour presentation, I am thrilled for her. It is beyond anything I have experienced but I can join her joyous delight of her good fortune. I can be empathetic by connecting with the emotion she is feeling.
Just as I might open my heart to someone's suffering and imagine the pain they are going through, so too can I open my heart to someone who has hit a peak moment in their life and imagine the thrill of their news.
Something tells me that this form of empathy is a valuable tool in relationships. What do you think?
Ms. Daryl Wood, CPCC is a fearless champion of No-Drama Living and Inner Resilience.