Empathy Intervention- Hailey Hokenson

I tend to do this exercise a lot in my everyday life. Whenever I get upset or angry, I tend to process my feelings and try to find a reason behind why something is happening. I am constantly self-reflecting to ensure I am not overreacting. A lot of the times, I find that the reason I get angry with someone is not as valid as I believe it to be. For example, last week I became frustrated with my sister for being mad at me. She was having her baby shower on Saturday and yelled at me when I said I would not be able to get there an hour early to help set up (since I was in LA traffic). I was frustrated because I felt I was putting forth a lot of effort to show up, and she was not being appreciative since I had two midterms the following Monday, work on Friday and Sunday, and her baby shower was 200 miles away. When I was self-reflecting, I realized I was angry at her because I assumed she didn’t care about what was going on in my life, but in reality, she also has things going on that I do not know or ask about. In my moment of anger, I forgot to factor in the fact that she is 8 months pregnant and probably under loads of stress to plan this baby shower. Doing this exercise is important as it makes me step back from my own world and understand others. Instead of being angry at my sister and adding to her already stressful day, I did what I could to try and alleviate her stress by helping in any way I could because I know that if the roles were reversed she would do the same. So moral of the story, this exercise helped me show that empathy, in this case, outweighed my anger.

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