Family & Romantic Relationships: Being Critical vs Being Empathetic
Not too long ago, I had a woman come in who told me that she often feels like she’s being criticized by her family. Usually, it’s because her and her daughters don’t spend much time with everybody else. That includes with her own mother. At first hearing that, you might think, what a bad daughter but when you hear of what she had to live through as a kid because of her mother’s decisions, you can totally understand why she behaves the way she does. It’s unfortunately put her in a situation where she feels like the outcast.
She mentioned how it’s not uncommon that if something goes wrong, people will quickly assume the worst instead of giving her the benefit of the doubt. Part of the problem is that her family members are unable to have compassion or empathy for her. It’s easier for them to just criticize. That only creates more hurt and pain. That is why it’s important that instead of easily getting offended when a loved one doesn’t do things the way that you think they should, that you take a moment to dialogue with that person and ask that person what is going on. In that moment, it’s very important that you not focus on making them wrong but on first connecting to what they are telling you. Make sure that they are able to get that you respect their feelings. Put yourself in their shoes and only once you’ve really gotten what they’ve been telling you, then work to help them get out of that mental space by continuing to be as empathetic, loving and understanding as possible. This is the only way you can help heal a loved one and make it so you have the kind of loving family or relationship that you’ve always wanted to have. It doesn’t make a difference if things have been a certain way for years, it’s time to start healing and make it so that we are all truly there for me – not just in title but in reality.
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