Empathy: Avoiding “at least”

We think we’re being helpful.

“At least you have a job,” we say, if a friend facing financial difficulties has his hours cut at work.
“At least you have good friends ,” we say, when someone loses a mother.
“At least you have a hospital nearby,” we say, to a person sick with cancer.

We think we’re being helpful. We might even say we’re being optimistic. But what we’re really doing is avoiding the issue. We’d rather the person didn’t have the worry, the grief, the illness, and we want to brush it aside, wish it away.

Better to just empathize with what’s really going on. This RSA short illustrates that beautifully.

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About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on January 10, 2014, in Art, good faith, Gratitude, How do you define success?, Inspiration, Living life to the fullest, spirit and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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