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EMPATHY

4 Healing Phrases That Can Brighten Anyone’s Mood

Empathy is free. What if it was abundant too?

Photo by Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash

The line between sympathy and empathy is the ability to put yourself in the second person’s shoes to understand what emotions they are feeling.

It is as hard to practice as it is to explain. If you can relate to a person’s situation, it is much easier to offer a fresh — and objective — perspective than showing sympathy by feeling sorry and wishing all the best.

But empathy doesn’t mean you have to be a Holocaust survivor to understand how unfair life can get. I don’t wish that on my worst enemy.

Even these four short phrases I am sharing can lighten anyone’s mood if used with proper intent because they have less chance of facing wrong timings.

#1. “You’re not alone.”

What is the first thing that pops in your head when you’re going through a rough patch and someone — even a stranger — says, “you’re not alone”?

It gives us a sense of comfort by assuring what we are facing has already occurred to many people before us. And probably we won’t be the last.

The self-help books also enlighten us in the same way. The author gives us life lessons from their transformation story because they don’t want anyone to repeat the same mistakes.

#2. “I understand.”

When a friend approaches for advice, they’re not looking for you to change their mind and introduce a new concept by doing a complete 180.

They expect you to understand their situation first, then offer an informed and unbiased opinion.

In six months of my therapy session in 2019, I realised finding even one person who understands what you’re going through is a life jacket you didn’t know you always had.

When life goes in an uncontrollable direction, and you need an objective angle to look at your problem with an unbiased vantage, all we care about is someone who understands our problem, not unloading their own baggage on us.

#3. “I have been there.”

It’s not obvious to use this phrase frequently because you must have experienced the situation the second person is facing.

Sharing similar experiences means you will have some pointers from your journey that could be helpful to the other person.

It even takes the load off their mind because your experience saved them substantial mental energy that they can invest better elsewhere.

#4. “It’s not normal, but you’ll bounce back.”

The last words anyone wants to hear when life is falling apart is “You’re OK” when the body language shows otherwise.

A little bit of tough love combined with hope gives the second person courage to go through a difficult time because it builds mutual trust when someone says they believe in you.

Being respected in someone’s eyes makes us feel good. It is how I maintained an active lifestyle for two years since the first lockdown in our country.

I had an accountability trainer who believed in my ability to show up every day. He created an advanced schedule for me to plan my next three days accordingly.

Final words

Becoming a conversationalist is an art requiring lifelong learning.

Being a healer? That’s a subset of conversationalists where you can excel by becoming a source of pleasant emotions.

I have ordered the four phrases by how frequently I use them. They even let the second person share their vulnerabilities with me, leading to deeper connections and follow-up discussions.

And suppose you include more of them in your day-to-day discourse. In that case, you’ll be memorable in your people’s — and strangers’ — hearts because you’ll be a source of positive emotions, which is scant nowadays in the digital age with the screen as a constant barrier against emotional transparency.

If you want to receive more stories like this, you’ll love my lifelong learning newsletter.

Sanjeev is a mentor, writer, and fitness enthusiast from India. He writes about lifelong learning, personal growth, and positive psychology. When he’s not engaging with students in solving their doubts or busy with writing, he’s sweating either in a workout, PC gaming or playing 8-ball pool. You can also find him on Twitter and Instagram.

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