Empathy Intervention – Rachel Staude

One thing I have come to realize is that there is a difference between empathizing with someone and acting on it. Recently, my horse passed away unexpectedly. We were partners and a team, and I had planned to take him to college with me. When he suddenly left me without any warning it was very shocking and hard. Grieving is different for everyone and can be confusing, I didn’t know if I wanted people to bring it up or not. I understood that death can make people uncomfortable and not sure what to do, and they might be trying to spare me from crying in public. But I felt like if they didn’t bring it up, they weren’t recognizing his significance in my life, and that hurt. However, recently I have been on the other side of things—trying to figure out how to comfort someone else grieving. And even though I could empathize with what they might be going through, I didn’t know what to say, and so I didn’t say anything. I realized that I was doing the same exact thing that I was annoyed with when I was the one hurting. And so, I have found that changing the way you think can be hard, but what you do with that knowledge and changing your actions is often a lot harder.

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