There are times when what we need, above all else, is empathy. Sometimes, when we seek support from others to try and meet this need, it can be so clear to the other person what is contributing to our experience that they may offer advice or suggestions in hopes that it will help. It can be so apparent and so observable to the person outside of us, that they may think with just a little advice, we of course will be able to see and implement the logical solution they have described for understanding/solving our conflict – through the information they have offered we will be able to experience the world in the way that we hope.
In light of this, as many of us have experienced before, our need for empathy is rarely met through hearing advice or listening to others’ problem-solving ideas. Sometimes the interaction we are looking for the most is for someone to ‘be with’ us in our experience – to listen to and to honor our experience as valid, regardless of what it looks like or sounds like in the moment through the lens of another. Here’s a video that illuminates our need for empathy, and the ways in which these interactions can occur.
It’s Not About the Nail from Jason Headley on Vimeo.