“I know how you feel.” This is usually one of the most overused and abused statement if we want to show our empathy for other people. But you should avoid saying this so casually since our feelings are very personal stuff; let’s face it—you don’t exactly know how a person feels at that moment especially if you’ve never been in that situation.

The meaning of empathy according to dictionary.com is: “the identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives” and “The attribution of one's own feelings to an object”. Thus, showing our empathy is definitely much more than saying “I know how you feel” to someone. Here are some tips on how to improve your empathy skills to enhance your relationships and prevent clashes with others.

1.) Rather than saying “I know how you feel”, you can try some alternatives like, “I appreciate your being open with me,” or, “Thanks for telling me how you feel.” 2) If you want to demonstrate understanding or validation, simple statements like, “I see what you mean…you have a good point.” Or, “Yes, I could see where you’re coming from.” When you convey your openness, the person appreciates it more.

3) Improving our empathy skills is also about good listening. And may I say reflective listening, to be more specific. It’s another form of open communication skill which involves listening to the words someone has said, in addition to those stuff they didn’t say. For example, someone yells at you saying they loathe you, but you noticed that their body language implies otherwise, in that case you could take what they said with a grain of salt coz you know how they truly feel.

Develop Your Empathy Skills To Improve Your Relationships

Tags: self improvement, anger management, meaning of empathy

“I know how you feel.” This is usually one of the most overused and abused statement if we want to show our empathy for other people. But you should avoid saying this so casually since our feelings are very personal stuff; let’s face it—you don’t exactly know how a person feels at that moment especially if you’ve never been in that situation.

The meaning of empathy according to dictionary.com is: “the identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives” and “The attribution of one's own feelings to an object”. Thus, showing our empathy is definitely much more than saying “I know how you feel” to someone. Here are some tips on how to improve your empathy skills to enhance your relationships and prevent clashes with others.

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1.) Rather than saying “I know how you feel”, you can try some alternatives like, “I appreciate your being open with me,” or, “Thanks for telling me how you feel.” 2) If you want to demonstrate understanding or validation, simple statements like, “I see what you mean…you have a good point.” Or, “Yes, I could see where you’re coming from.” When you convey your openness, the person appreciates it more.

3) Improving our empathy skills is also about good listening. And may I say reflective listening, to be more specific. It’s another form of open communication skill which involves listening to the words someone has said, in addition to those stuff they didn’t say. For example, someone yells at you saying they loathe you, but you noticed that their body language implies otherwise, in that case you could take what they said with a grain of salt coz you know how they truly feel.

4) To avoid misunderstanding, you can use phrases like, “Okay, So in other words…” Or, “Let me see if I am getting this right—if I’m hearing it right, what you’re trying to say is…” After that, insert their own words as you can, so that you avoid misinterpretation or having your “own version” on what they really said.

5) Brushing on your empathy skills also means holding on to your thoughts and emotions for awhile. Set aside ample time and space for the other person’s feelings and wait if they got anything to say. Empathy is also about waiting for the proper timing to bring forth your sentiments and especially if they’re already open to what you have to say, so that you avoid offending others.

Author's Bio: 

The author of this article, Amy Twain, is a Self Improvement Coach who has been successfully coaching and guiding clients for many years. Amy recently published a new home study course on how to boost your Self Esteem. Click here to get more info about her Quick-Action Plan for A More Confident You.