Empathy is truly the heart of the relationship,” said Carin Goldstein, a licensed marriage and family therapist. “Without it, the relationship will struggle to survive”. Empathy requires compassion.
- Give your partner genuine attention: “When you are listening with genuine attention you are taking action to understand your partner,” said Goldstein.
- Practice loving-kindness: Loving-kindness is the foundation for mindfulness practice. “The more in touch we are with our foundation of loving-kindness, the more easily we can access empathy and be mindful of our experience and behavior.”
- Listen without judgment: Empathy is possible only when you have removed all judgements about your partner’s needs and feelings.
- Look for feelings: People argue over who is right and both views are valid. Being rational about the facts inhibits empathy because it invalidates emotions.
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