And it’s keeping them from building closer connections.

I learned about empathy the hard way.

I muted my emotions for most of my life.

I was a shy kid and was taught that too much attention was not a good thing. 

So I pushed down my emotions. 

If I was feeling sad or lonely, I rarely shared it. Instead of feeling those emotions, I told myself, “Stay positive. Be strong. Don’t show your emotions.”

Weirdly, the opposite also happened.

When something really awesome was going on, I didn’t show much outward excitement because that would’ve drawn attention to me.

And because I made a habit of not feeling my emotions, I had very little empathy for others. 

I never thought about how they were feeling because I never thought about how I was feeling. 

This made it hard to develop close connections.

Until I started going to therapy, I never realized how much this was affecting my sales abilities (let alone my personal life).

A simple habit that’s helped me develop more empathy is asking myself, “What’s the other person feeling right now? What am I feeling right now?”

How have you developed more empathy?

Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.


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