Simply put, empathy is understanding your partner’s feelings. Without empathy we really can’t have a strong connection. Here’s how to empathize with your partner without feeling weak….
When your relationship has a low empathy IQ it’s usually due to a lack of understanding and trust with partner. If empathy isn’t practiced, it quickly becomes an afterthought.
And the less you practice empathy, the more obvious this absence gets. Even if you know empathy is an important part in your relationship…. it’s extremely hard to empathize with your partner when you don’t feel like they empathize back.
I know, I’ve been there.
Empathy is a mother#*cker. When only want to give it when we get it. Especially when you know you’re in the right. But being right doesn’t make great relationships. Empathy does.
Empathy is a skill. We don’t come fully formed knowing how to do this perfectly. Our natural instinct is to defend (push away), not to empathize (lean in).
And being defensive does not make a great relationship.
More about empathy…
Empathy is the ability to understand and connect to your partner’s thoughts and feelings (even when it’s not convenient). Your empathy ability is not always about how you relate to your partner. We can bring lack-empathy-baggage of our previous relationships (either romantic ones or from our family) into our current relationship.
So your empathy deficiency may not necessarily be due to your current relationship. It could be because you never truly learned this skill.
The first step toward upping your empathy game is practicing listening to understand NOT listening to reply. Every time you respond instead of just listening you’re missing an opportunity to show understanding to your partner. You can’t afford to do that. You can only miss so many opportunities before it starts eroding the emotional trust. Don’t allow this to happen. There are opportunities every day to practice this.
Don’t wait for your partner to show you empathy before you decide to give it back. Chances are they’re probably pretty sucky at empathy too. Take one for your relationship team and start practicing ways to improve your empathy IQ.
If you’re in need of improving your empathy and connection with your partner click here.
I got your back in having the best relationship possible. You can take control and learn ways to improve your relationship today. If you are looking couples counseling in Tampa or individual counseling, schedule your FREE 15 minute phone consultation here to see if I can help you reach your relationship goals.
Aniesa Hanson is a licensed Tampa therapist and founder of Aniesa Hanson Counseling. Aniesa specializes in counseling Tampa women and men improve self-confidence, communication, and become the master of their relationships. Learn more about working with Aniesa here.