Some of us are totally unaware of our feelings and by extension others feelings too. This can cause all kinds of strains in relationships. It is a deep human need to feel heard and listened to.
Many people view feelings and recognising feelings as a weakness. Their preference might be for rationality and logic and may have trained themselves to avoid thinking about feelings with the belief that emotions cloud logic. It is actually suppressing emotions which clouds logic.
When it comes to empathy and hearing others in all manner of environments, be it work, family or play, when emotions are dismissed, avoided or disregarded, the results are usually negative for all involved. Distrust, resentment and demotivated relationships may result.
Bringing awareness to the issue is what will allow for feelings to be welcomed eventually. Empathy can take practice but avoiding it brings worse consequences over time.
Practice non judgement when you are talking with someone. Watch how many times you judge something in your mind. Empathy is about having patience and generosity for the other person and recognising that what is going on in their mind and body is not connected to our own assumptions and judgement.
Practice your empathy today. Hear without offering solutions, listen without preparing responses. See how it changes the dynamic of your relationships across the spectrum. Ask for feedback after a week of practicing your empathy skills. Ask your colleagues how well they feel heard and understood by you in conversations compared with the previous week. Don’t aim for perfection either, if you are growing even a small bit, remain committed to your growth in that area and you will get better over time.