Sunday, August 29, 2010


Some wise words from an Education Week instructor (on compassion). I'll admit I've been frustrated with these responses and I have also made the mistakes of using them myself. I need to work on this.

UNHELPFUL responses:
  • Giving advice: “What you need to do is . . .”
  • Talking about your own feelings and experiences instead of theirs: “That same thing happened to me. . . .”
  • Making their pain seem unimportant: “Everyone suffers. What makes you so special?”
HELPFUL ways of showing understanding:
  • Acknowledge their feelings: “I can see that you feel strongly about this.”
  • Invite more discussion: “I would like to understand. Please tell me more.”
  • Acknowledge that their pain is real for them: “You must feel awful.”

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