Do you remember Thanksgiving 2023 when you boys were in grades 10, 8 and 6? Do you remember the Friday night when I drove away to give myself a few hours “timeout”? I am sure you do as I know that this was an upsetting moment for you as you could sense my sadness and could feel that I was angry.
Before I throw a piece of paper in the garage that I hastily wrote on, with stick people drawings, once I came back home, I wanted to enshrine it here:
What do you do when people feel sadness or anger?
- Be annoyed and get angry back?
- Try to make them happy?
- Allow them to feel. Show empathy?
- Any other options?
After I shared my little diagram, I love that all of you were able to to allow me to feel what I felt and even show me empathy. Oxford Languages says that empathy is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Before my timeout, all three of you tried one of these different strategies above when you saw my sadness and anger. One of you started getting angry with me, another tried to tell a joke and lighten the mood and one of you was looking at me with sadness in their own eyes.
After I shared this diagram and we talked, you were all solidly in the empathy category with what I was experiencing in that moment and it was such a gift!
Allow people to feel.
Hold space for them.
Allow people to heal.
Be empathetic for them.
Allow people to deal.
Give time for them.
Thank you boys for walking that weekend with me and for being open to learning about empathy.
Enjoy your day. Love what you do.