Emotional-scars are unmet needs of childhood.
Emotional-scars don't just fade with time or solutions!
Emotional scars remain and need empathy.
I've had to experience non-empathic responses to appreciate when I've received empathy.
Empathic responses do not:
2. Educate, explain or evaluate
4 Minimize or discount
5. Pity or sympathize
6. Reveal their story
7. Take blame
How do I know these are non-empathic responses?
My negative feelings tell me.
How do I know when I've been offered empathy?
It is simple. I feel felt.
For the 7 key points about this post scroll to the bottom please.
I have a friend who is able to really be present for me, who does not judge me nor try to fix me. If she does advice it is after she has held space for me to express freely. I treasure her.
Being felt means someone has been present to us. They gave us their attention as we bared our scars. They didn't run or judge the scar. Instead, connection was made by them being attuned to our needs.
When our needs are met we experience positive feelings. When our needs are not met we experience negative feelings.
When I feel sadness I know there's been an exchange, but, no connection, warmth, or care arising from it.
When I experience warmth and care I feel grateful and know there has been connection.
The response lacked what I needed: empathy.
When I feel rejected, unheard, or misunderstood I can become quiet. Sometimes my breathing becomes shallow. It is then, I know a deep emotional scar has been touched.
I cannot know how another will respond especially when I don't know them well. But, even when I know them, their response may not be the one I hope for.
NO ONE CAN BE ATTUNED TO US ALL THE TIME OR CONSISTENTLY. It is not realistic.
I myself am not always attuned to my own needs because we live in a busy world. Of course, the more aware of my needs I am, the more I can ask for what I need. The more I ask for what I need, the more I increase the possibility of my needs being met. The more needs are met, the happier I am. The opposite is true as well.
Non-empathic responses make me sad. I feel sad that my need for connection and understanding goes unmet.
When the sadness is deeper, often it means they are unmet childhood needs. I take time to mourn those emotional-scars, so I can meet them in the present.
When an exchange lacks caring, my sadness runs more than surface deep as it creates dissonance in my belief in humanity. So I let my tears flow.
Mourning needs or emotional scars is how I take responsibility for my feelings and how I care for myself. (Self-empathy)
The mourning process has been necessary to see beyond the scars. If I don't mourn the emotional scars, their memories remain charged.
If I cannot see beyond my scars I will want to hide them and isolate.
Either way there is little growth or healing if our emotional scars remain charged or if we cannot see beyond them.
Often we want to hide emotional scars believing they make us less attractive. Hiding scars doesn't give anyone a chance to see how human we are, much less a chance for someone to gift us empathy.
We mean well as humans. We are just not very versed in the language of empathy. We've forgotten to connect to our heart to connect to others.
I have to remind myself that I wouldn't know who is empathic unless I took a risk.
Risk is part of being human. The more I risk, the greater I increase my chances of being felt. If I can drop expectations, the freer I am and the quicker I bounce back to being happy.
Happiness comes from the quality of our relationships. The quality depends on how much we connect from our heart. It is why emotional scars aren't to be hidden. They can bring us closer.
We can share our scars like they are beauty marks because they are.
They reveal needs that went unmet. They reveal how resilient we are.
Sometimes, we have to give others a chance to see our scars so they can understand us, because we both need it. We need to give the gift of empathy and we need to receive it.
1. Empathy is not about what I do, but about connecting.
2. If "I" feel felt, I've been given the gift of empathy.
3. Positive feelings tell me -my needs are being met.
4. NO ONE CAN BE ATTUNED TO ME ALL THE TIME but I can tune in to myself (self-empathy)
5. Mourning the unmet needs of childhood frees me to meet my needs in the present
6. We have to risk revealing our emotional scars to know who can be empathic
7. Emotional scars offer us an opportunity to connect from our hearts so we can nurture and support one another
Do you know what emotional scars remain charged for you?
How do you give empathy?
What's your empathic challenge as in how is it tough to be there for someone? (see list of non-empathic responses)