Day 15 of 30 Days of Amazing

Listen with Empathy to Achieve Understanding

We are not going to agree with each other all the time, but that doesn’t mean we should let someone’s voice fall on deaf ears. Over time, I have been able to sit and listen to people even if I wasn’t in agreement. Due to my love for humanity, I have to be able to sit and listen to different perspectives. This is due to the fact that we all experience something different. We all are not from the same country, state, city, neighborhood, or family.

Jane Fonda learned about listening with empathy due to a mistake she made in her younger years. She had to deal with a lot of backlash from her mistake, but she was able to listen - not just listen, but listen with empathy.  Many of us try so hard to get our point across but fail to allow others to do the same. This causes hostility and people becoming mute to situations.

The word empathy means the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It comes from the Greek origin "empathos" which means “in feeling”. Allowing others to share their feelings allows the respect level to increase. It allows both parties to have a mutual understanding even if there is no agreement made. It shows not only empathy, but compassion and maturity with your communication.

Jane said, “What I learned…we have to listen to each other, even when we don’t agree, even when we think we hate each other. We have to listen to each other’s narratives, not interrupt defensively or with hostility, but really try to open our hearts and listen with empathy.”