Empathy Is Better Than Sympathy

There is a well worn adage 'the world revolves around you'.  Annoyingly at times, this is absolutely true for all of us - the world revolves around you and around me as well.

What we see, do, feel, hear, sense, smell, taste, love, hate are all our own personal experiences.  Someone might share any of these individual aspects, yet the world still revolves around that personal.

Stop and think for a moment, does anyone else think like you? Does anyone else completely and fully live their life moment to moment like you? No. Your life is unique to you. My life is unique to me. The way I think, the way I see, the way I appreciate and the way I dislike are all unique traits to me in that complete combination of life.

The world that we experience is created from our knowledge, our actions, our beliefs and our personalities. What this means is that two of us could be in the same room and each of us would have a different view. Someone that likes flowers might be drawn to the pot plants within the room and in their mind would draw a different conclusion to their experience than someone who appreciates architecture. This may seem a simplistic example yet it highlights how everything we see and do is based on our own unique make up.

A wonderful example of this in practise would be to put two people in a room where there are only book filled bookcases. Each of them would be drawn to look at different books.

Why as a medium would I consider these obvious differences in people as important? It's called empathy - the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Empathy is important and differs greatly from sympathy. In the latter, all we would be doing is pitying the other person's situation rather than making effort to understand it by 'wearing their shoes'.

I have seen many mediums that think the best way to deal with other people is by using the traits of their own personality. Though this might work, it often leads to harsh words being spoken, or words that simply don't relate to the other person. In the early days, I recall an occasion when I was doing a reading for a person on a one to one basis. It was in a group environment. I detected that this lady might have a health issue and asked if she had had a cancer situation. My face that accompanied this remark looked worried.

The lady reacted quite shocked and was obviously taken back by my comment. I realised enough sense to change the subject and move on. Later, in private, the tutor had a word with me. He informed me that the lady had recently had a breast cancer scare and was very worried about it. The tutor told me that I had been clumsy and should have used tact to avoid the situation. Great advice and a lesson I learnt and never forgot.

It is all so easy for us to forget that the world we live in is entirely different to everyone else's. That is why I believe that the most likeable people are those that can communicate with you as if they fully understand your world. They automatically empathise.

Many sceptics accuse mediums of 'cold reading' their recipient. Mediums get annoyed when they hear it said and deny it outright. I don't because I believe I do 'cold read' at times. When I select a member of a group for a reading, I am fully aware during the reading of how they are reacting from their body language. I'm not necessarily looking for the affirmations, I'm looking to make sure that what I am about to pass to them is suitably worded for their temperament. This is not filtering. Neither is this making messages fit. It is simply seeing the world through their eyes - empathising.

We have a responsibility, whether we're a medium, a doctor, a nurse, a carer or even a plumber or mechanic to take time to see the world through the clients eyes. In doing so, we become better people. We're naturally more likeable and we tell the other person that we care and we can be trusted.     ♥



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