Empathetic Listening

Listening To Friends

"Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing. Instead of offering empathy, we often have a strong urge to give advice or reassurance and to explain our own position or feeling. Empathy, however, calls upon us to empty our mind and listen to others with our whole being."

-Marshall B. Rosenberg

"When... someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good... When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to perceive my world in a new way and go on. It is astonishing how elements which seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens."

-Carl Rogers

Empathic listening in 4 easy steps

  1. State the facts and what you can see

    "It looks like your daughter came home last night after her curfew."

  2. Guess the other person's feelings

    "It sounds like you are feeling hurt and disappointed in your daughter for betraying your trust in her."

  3. Guess their need/want

    "You probably wanted Katie to call you at least if she was going to be late. You had wanted her to be more responsible I bet. And now you would like an apology and good explanation for why she didn't call for being late last night."

  4. Guess their request (positive & do-able now)

    "What would you like to happen now? I'm wondering what you think about talking to Katie about how you feel and opening the lines of communication through your initiation."

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