Relationships Work: KiCK’N Relationship Tips
With Lori and Bob Hollander
Secrets to Creating Extraordinary Relationships
Deep relationships don’t happen by accident. They are consciously created.
The Secret to Creating a Deep Relationship
When you listen with empathy to another person, you give that person psychological air. ~ Stephen R. Covey
Deep relationships don’t happen by accident. They are created when partners develop “profound empathy” for each others feelings. This involves more than knowing “about” your partner – his/her favorite food, what he/she likes to do for fun, or what his/her history is. It takes authentic, caring, patient communication to become keenly aware of his/her feelings. It means taking off your shoes and trying on your partner’s. Or as Bob puts it, walking a mile in my high heels.
So what exactly is empathy? Often people confuse empathy with sympathy. Expressing sympathy means letting the other know you recognize their distress with compassion. For example, “I’m so sorry you are in pain. I feel bad for you.”
Empathy goes deeper and shows that you can actually imagine his/her feelings and perceptions through his/her eyes. For example, “I sense how much pain you are in. It is very intense.” You feel with him/her not just for him/her.
The path to empathy is through communication; listening to thoughts, the logical, rational message; and listening to feelings, interpreting the meaning of your partner’s message. Empathizing with your partner’s feelings takes one to a deep level of “knowing” and understanding his/her internal frame of reference or perception.