What about us in the healthcare professions? Do we take the time to walk in someone else’s shoes, to really get to know them, their problems, their frame of reference? We are not talking about sympathy but empathy. Sympathy is having been there, done that. Empathy requires that we put ourselves in their shoes, even though we have never experienced their situation.
So, what can we do to be more empathetic?
1. We must practice active listening. We’ve got to really listen to what others are saying and even though we may have never experienced what they are going through. We must work to put ourselves in their place.
2. Share in others joy and heartbreak. Are we really happy for their good fortunes? Are we really moved to compassion in their weeping?
3. We must be mindful in the moment. Mindfulness requires us not to be quick to judge, but to be non-judgmental and taking our time to focus on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment. Our opinions can wait!
Know you are blessed,