My apologies for my relative silence during the past week. I’m hopeful that those of you following along were inspired enough by the past week’s theme to maintain your focus without additional encouragement from me.
So let’s turn our attention now to Week 4 of our Empathic Kindness class. As I’ve been doing, I want to remind you that the idea for this class came to me after reading Roman Krznaric’s article “Six Habits of Highly Empathic People.”
For this week, I’ve altered the language Krznaric used in the article. He said that the fourth habit is to “Listen hard and open up.” I’m suggesting that we interpret this as being fully present with another person, one of my past kindness class themes. In being fully present, we focus our attention on the person we are with instead of on how we might respond to them. See if you are like me. So many times I find myself formulating my response to someone before she/he has finished speaking, something that puts me a few seconds into the future. In being fully present, I listen with my whole being as the other is speaking.
Of course, this is just one way to interpret being fully present. There are other ways, too. As such, I suggest you try being present with people throughout the week and consider some different ways to do it. On that note, in the article Krznaric says it is important to make ourselves vulnerable. “Removing our masks and revealing our feelings to someone is vital for creating a strong empathic bond.”