Avoiding the empathy trap

There’s only so much time you can spend occupied with the feelings of others before you need to tend to your own.

Most of us appreciate the feeling of being heard and understood, of someone else acknowledging what’s happening for us, especially in difficult times.

Perhaps it harks back to that old saying ”a problem shared is a problem halved”. Having someone show us empathy can help us to feel cared for, that we’re part of a group.

Feeling cared for and belonging are important factors in helping us to be emotionally resilient people. A world with empathy is nurturing and supportive. Sympathy and compassion are also important to healthy adult relationships too.

Empathy, sympathy and compassion are all similar but different! An emotionally balanced person will have a mix of all three and know when and how to express each as appropriate. 

Jan Aitken