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PodcastEvolving Through Empathy

Evolving Through Empathy

This week is all about the power of forgiveness. Today, Rosie shares a personal experience of using empathy to move on from disagreements and grow.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

(air fizzing) (air clicking) (bells chiming) Headspace Studios. (gentle music) Hi, everyone. It's Rosie. Welcome to Radio Headspace and to Thursday. As you know, this week is all about forgiveness and how it can enhance our lives and bring us peace. Today we're exploring an important aspect of forgiveness, empathy. Essentially empathy is about understanding a point of view other than your own. It has the power to transform our perspective, our relationships, and our ability to forgive. But it's not always easy. For example, a few months ago I found myself locked in a stalemate with someone I work with outside of Headspace, FYI. A disagreement about whether the pandemic was real caused tension and resentment between us for months. I was adamant that there was a pandemic, and they disagreed. It felt like an unbridgeable gap that wouldn't get solved. This conflict ended up impacting my work as we both were due to speak at an event. Something had to give, so I finally decided to step back and try to understand their perspective and their motivations, and they were motivated to hold onto certain beliefs because of experiences that I didn't have to work through. Empathy helped me see past the conflict. From there I could forgive. It created a bridge to find that compassion we need in order to evolve. We still didn't agree, but we were able to talk things out before the event and create an understanding without the agenda of trying to prove anything to one another. So when we're up against a tough situation with someone, whether it's a colleague, friend, or partner, how can empathy catalyze our personal evolution and deepen our understanding of forgiveness? Well, it's not easy, but being conscious of empathy during conflict can help us pause, take a step back, and really consider why the other person feels the way they do. So if you wanna give empathy a try, here are a few tips that help me create the space for mutual ground. Number one, step into their shoes. Next time you find yourself in a conflict, pause and imagine yourself in their position. Try to see the world through their eyes. Even asking yourself the simple question, "Why did they feel this way?" can give you some insight into the experiences that led them to their point of view instead of holding onto why they're wrong. Number two, open dialogue. Express your feelings and be open to hearing theirs. Let them finish speaking before you jump in. Focus on what they say as they're saying it instead of thinking about how you can dismantle their argument. I speak from experience. Doing this will create a less heated conversation and give space for both of you to share ideas. Of course, if someone is using hate or harmful speech, that's a different story, and it might be best to just walk away. Number three, practice empathy, not just in moments of conflict, but in everyday interactions as...


Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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