“Empathy is a choice and it is a vulnerable choice because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling” – Dr Brené Brown, Professor in social work at the University of Houston
From those perfectly spoken words of Professor Brown, we know it’s not easy choosing to be empathetic. But if you mean to support someone you care about or love, it is the way to go, rather than being sympathetic.
I’ve been meaning to share this amazing video from the RSA where Professor Brown explains the difference between sympathy and empathy.
Those of us with going through a hard time, be it with a circumstance, chronic illnesses, especially the misunderstood like fibromyalgia, or mental illness like depression and anxiety will especially be able to relate.
I’ve had all kinds of folk try to silver line my pain as Professor Brown put it: while I lay in hospital, suffered nervous breakdowns or was in tears trying to ride the waves of clinical depression or the pain and isolation of fibromyalgia.
Be love, give love, share love. And if you choose to do this and be this in the world, then empathy is what you should give those who need a friend.
Consider it, and share.
Gentle hugs and love:)