Empathy Intervention – Colin Townsend

When I had done this intervention earlier in the quarter, I had tried looking at people in pop culture that I otherize, politicians, celebrities, etc. However, in the end I decided to focus on my relationship that I have with one of my best friends, someone who I often am found questioning their decision making and problem solving skills. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy, I just have found countless instances through our friendship where I would have done something different in his situation, or have felt he could have been more efficient and so on with something. When I first realized that I was “otherizing” him, I realized that I was sort of looking down on how he would deal with things, and this upset me, as I do not want to spoil a relationship over my own pet peeves. When this intervention came, I thought it was a great opportunity to readdress these thoughts that I had previously pondered. I tried, instead of “otherizing,” empathizing with his situations. I have gotten to know him quite well, but people have different drives, and I have realized that he just does not place the same values on some of the things I hold close to myself. This is not his fault, and it is in no way my place to judge him off of these types of things. There are plenty of motives that propel people through life, and most of the time they are hidden within people. Judging people without taking time to try to understand their motives does nobody any good. In the time since this intervention, I have kept my practice of empathizing with my friend and with just letting some things go, and we have only grown closer.

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