I have a pet peeve.😞 I can’t stand it when I pour out my heart from fear or frustration or disappointment only to have my listener say, “I know exactly how you feel.” Really? 😬How can you know EXACTLY how I feel? You had all of the EXACT same events leading up to this critical time in MY life? Maybe you can understand, but EXACTLY? C’mon.😳
I also can’t stand it when someone tells me that their co-worker’s sister’s half-cousin in Alabama had the “exact same thing,” and they either: a) suffered a horrible death, or b) are completely fine, and I have no reason to be upset.😤
Then, there’s the flip side. What about those folks who don’t care at all until or unless it affects them? 😡They’re out there- loud and proud, showing no mercy to anyone lately. Yet, as soon as the *fill in the blank* comes to their home or family or workplace, the tables are turned. All of a sudden, it’s crucial. Now, it’s time to show some love. Finally, they understand a different point of view- only because it is THEIR point of view.😞
Scenarios like these happen often. Maybe you’ve heard those kinds of words. Perhaps you’ve said them. OUCH, I know.😬
When I am greeted with those sorts of comments, my situation is instantly minimized. Simple words have the power to make me feel “less than.” That may not be the intent, but it sure is the effect.😢
Maya Angelou once wrote, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” It’s time for us to do better.😍 It starts by opening our minds to learn. It actually happens when we allow our minds to see from different perspectives.
How can we do better? Let’s get a couple of things straight, first. A new buzzword is 💕empathy. What is empathy, and how does it differ from sympathy? The definition of empathy is the ability to identify and ☺understand other people’s emotions. Sympathy, on the other hand, includes feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s 😢misfortune. Both involve the knack for understanding people. That, my friends, means the ability to listen and learn.💯
Empathy isn’t supposed to mean understanding every nuance of a situation. We can’t. We bring a wide variety of life experiences to the table—those color our views, which can be a blessing and a curse.💥
How about we aim for 💕compassion? The world is changing ⏳hour by hour, and you may feel a little lost or confused by the issues at hand. Racism. 🔬A pandemic. Politics. 💰Unemployment. What will 📝school look like in the fall? Why do people argue about 😷masks? All of these things affect each of us in different ways. It’s complicated out there! Let’s do better.
- We do better💕 by finding ways to walk in someone else’s shoes before we step in a mess with our own. Let’s stop assuming we know EXACTLY how someone feels in any given situation. Fact is- we don’t. We can learn, though, if we lean in.
- We do better 💕by listening without rushing to a solution. I’m raising my hand on this one. I’m a fixer. I’m figuring out a plan before I even hear the full story. I’m aware of this, and it’s my job to adjust my instincts.
- We do better 💕by showing compassion without having to share the same opinions. I read some comments on Facebook and just cringe. Stop it! Care about people who don’t look like you. Stand by those who make different choices than you. Leave the trash talk in the trash.
- We do better 💕by joining in the moment without downplaying it. Don’t try to convince me that I’m wrong. Listen to how I might be right. Hear me.
- We do better 💕by reevaluating. Educate yourself. We all have things to learn. That’s called growth, and it’s essential to our personal development. I bet you can think of at least one thing that gave you a different perspective on life? No? Then you’re not trying hard enough. Look around! Ask questions. Research. Challenge your own opinions. Allow new information and evidence to change your mind. It’s okay. It’s growth, remember?
What if…we do better? Let’s begin to see each other- really 😍see one another without looking through our own lenses. I believe that we know better. Let’s start doing better.💕