Your life is made up of ‘others’, in case you haven’t noticed! Often we consider ourselves as the center of the universe. Our world and our thoughts are so full of “I, me, myself & mine” that we hardly have time for others. We need to step back and reflect on the significant others in our lives and we need to care for them. Here are a list of things that we need to do
Empathy: Quite often when your friend, colleague or family member relates their troubles to you, you find yourself judging them too quickly. You may see them as weak, or stupid and unable to handle their problems effectively. But what is really needed is empathy. Empathy is the most important habit we need to cultivate in our relation to others. Empathy is the ability to sense the emotions and feelings of others. It is the ability to step into the other person’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. When we see the other person’s problems through the other person’s eyes, we are able to appreciate the reactions and emotions the other person is going through. If only we could see it through the lens of person relating the problem you will be able to appreciate it better.
Empathy, often gets confused with sympathy, where we acknowledge the hardship of the other person and provide comfort and assurance. People are not looking for your comfort but more for your understanding of their situation.
Listen more, talk less: When a family member, colleague or friend is relating their successes, failures or their experience, stop and listen. Let them have their say, whether it is a display of excitement, joy or sadness. Do not interrupt them with your own ideas, opinions and judgments. Listen more. Observe the visual cues and the body language of the other. Share in the joys and sorrows rather than giving your opinion and views on it. People like others who listen.
It is more important to be kind, than correct: This rule is an extension of the 2 points above. When the other person is venting their anger, relating their woes or showing enthusiasm and joy, be empathetic. There is really no need for you to correct the other person’s views, even if they are wrong, immediately. Let them vent their frustrations, even if unjustified. Listen to them. There will be time to tell them what your real view is. Honesty, in my opinion is over-rated. Honest is second only to kindness. Hence it is more important to be kind than correct.
Do unto others, as you have them do unto you: “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you”. This is something that we need to keep in our minds all the time. Remember that just as you would like others to be kind, grateful and nice to you, so should all your activities to others be.
You don’t live in this world in isolation. Your life is made up of important others, all the time. Treat them well and they will treat you well in return.
So, pay heed, and care for the important others in your life!