Could developing my empathy skills help improve my own experience of life?
Experiments to test whether co-opting our natural, self-interested motivations can gain mutual benefit and emotional growth.
What are your thoughts on this idea?
Does this feel familiar?
“People frequently don’t understand me. I don’t understand why.
I frequently feel confused by people”.
“When I interact I often feel motivated to prove myself, gain attention, approval, prove I’m right, compete, persuade, convince, gain recognition or validation. I often feel insecure or self-conscious when I don’t get this which is a genuinely sensitive experience for me.
This drives me to: frequently focus on myself in conversations- my opinions, my judgements, my experiences, my ideas, my jokes, my stories, my achievements, my talents”.
I less frequently ask open, curious questions about other people’s lives or spend equal time focusing on what they want to contribute about themselves.
Other people frequently interact with me like this too and I’ve never understood why”.
Be explicit with myself:
Paying attention to all my feelings, thoughts, and behaviour, what am I seeking emotionally from my interactions with people? When and with whom is it necessary for me to receive this? When can I accept not receiving this?
Contrast with them:
Noticing their actions, words, behaviour, choices, might they too have the same needs? What are they showing? When, and with whom can I provide this? When is this less possible?
How can I seek to balance my identical needs with theirs? How can we explore different ways of achieving this in the way we interact with each other?