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Sandra Dean – Registered Member

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U is for Understanding and Empathy

I have suffered with depression and anxiety for many years, and I use my experiences of coping to help others. I am currently editing my first self-help book on the subject and I wanted to share with you the letter U in the book, which is written alphabetically. U for understanding and empathy…

By ‘understanding’, I mean our understanding of how we are with others’ might affect them, so that we can become more self-aware. And by empathy, I mean understanding how someone else feels, so that we can understand them better. Empathy is like a comfort blanket we can offer someone without the emotion of sympathy, which is where we say how sorry we are or sad we are that someone feels a certain way. Empathy is far more powerful than sympathy when it comes to helping others’ so next time someone gets angry, sad or upset, try to understand why they might feel those things. We are ALL individuals, and cannot put our own ethics and thoughts onto others. Everyone feels and thinks their own way, and unless we try to empathise with them, we can only judge them based on ourselves.

So, if you lost your job and coped well, it doesn’t mean that someone else will. You might be in £1000 debt and feel like it’s a major trauma, and someone else wouldn’t care if they were in debt £1000. Each person will have their own feelings and thoughts, background and circumstances surrounding a traumatic, sad, upsetting event, and their reactions will be individual too. By understanding and empathising with others’ we can learn so much about ourselves as self-awareness too!


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