Empathetic Speaking

Not only am I a coach but I am also an esthetician.  I recently had a consultation with a new client who is looking for help in improving her skin while hoping to make time to pamper herself and make time for her.  The hope is that by making time for her and getting help with some skincare concerns perhaps some anxiety she has will calm and she will feel better about herself.

During our conversation emotions got high and she shared with me how the struggles she is having with her skin and anxiety is effecting her self-worth.  On top of what she was already feeling someone close to her made the comment of “you used to be so pretty”.  Six words that ended up devastating her completely.

In hearing, how the conversation went I honestly don’t believe the person meant to be so uncaring it was a careless comment said when she just didn’t know what to say to make my client feel better.  Perhaps she didn't know what to say to my client so she tried to fill the space with something and said the first thing that came to mind.

Although the saying is “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”  It’s a nice saying when your kid is teased at school by someone not their friend, but when words are said by someone you trust and love - words can break you. 

This got me thinking about empathetic speaking.   What is empathetic speaking?

In my opinion empathetic speaking is to not only put your heart into what words you say, but also how those words will be received to allow you to connect to the person.  Another part of empathetic speaking though is also knowing when the right words don’t exist but to just support and allow the silence to exist. 

So many people are afraid of silence.  I think people feel like allowing silence can be a bad thing.  Take it from this introvert (me), silence can be just what I need.  Sometimes it's not the words that matter it's the feeling of support that does matter.  

Brene Brown has an amazing video on empathy that I am going to include below.  Take 3 minutes and watch it and share your thoughts with me below.

With Love and Joy,