Here are some practices for cultivating empathy:
- Practice committed, non-reactive listening by tuning in to the deeper levels of their message.
- Move away from right and wrong thinking.
- When you notice judgments in the mind, remind yourself about “different strokes for different folks.”
- Become more tolerant and accepting of the values and styles of others.
- Make room for the full range of intense feelings in yourself and others: fear, hurt, confusion, anger, sadness, grief, shame, guilt, joy, and happiness.
- Resist giving advice even if it’s solicited.
- Bring forth warmth, affection, and your open heart.
Linda Bloom, L.C.S.W., and Charlie Bloom, M.S.W