Feeling with Others

I recently watched this video on empathy illustrated by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) using material by Brené Brown from one of her TED Talks. The talk is very much like many other TED Talks and perhaps you’ve already seen this specific talk. It is a good talk, I enjoy it, and I have seen it many times. The video by the RSA, as they are more popularly known, is an excellent revitalization of her talk. The talk is as true today as it was they day she originally delivered it, though her dates and references might be dated. However, the core of the content still rings true. 

The core of illustration by the RSA also rings true. It is a visualization of Brené’s words. It resonates with me. It reminds me of when I hurt and what it means to bring comfort to someone else. The illustration reminds me to say, “Me too.” before I even consider saying, “At least…” The video also reminds me to tell my story. To tell people about who I am and where I have been. To be willing to be painfully authentic even though I am scared or worried about the opinions of others. 

The RSA’s illustration reminds me to listen to other people in such a way that I am saying, “I hear you and I am with you!” without ever actually saying a word. 

Maybe you are the one that is hurting right now. Maybe you are the one who is doing great.

Either way, are you telling your story? Do people know how you are doing right now? As you hurt, you have to tell your story. You have to tell people where you are at. Right now. You have to tell someone. Otherwise you are still alone and no one even has the opportunity to say, “Me too.” 

No one has the opportunity to join you in your pain.

There is the other side of the coin as well. You are doing well, right now, and you do not hurt. To you I would ask, “When someone opens up and tells you their story, do you say, ‘At least…’ or ‘Me too.’? Would anyone you are listening to ever say you are actually listening?