NochNoch.com

responding with empathy

| 6 Comments

Me to a few friends recently:
“I am going through XXX, I feel miserable because ABC… I do not know why people enjoy this process. I do not. I am very unhappy….”

My friends’ responses:
“Do not feel like that, it is a blessing what you are experiencing, many people would love to be in your position….”

“This change is a miracle, be grateful for the time and opportunity you have….”

Think more positive, try to enjoy yourself through XXX…. Do not think like that…”

My initial responses and emotions:

  • cringe in anger for they did not understand where I was coming from
  • shame for I felt reprimanded for my emotions and physical ailments, which were very real for me
  • urge to write back in rage to yell at them for not trying to understand me
  • impulse to respond with something hateful such as “wait till you are going through XXX!”
  • upset they could not be more sympathetic, let alone be empathetic with my situation
  • self-righteous and formulated a preachy response to tell them how they could be more open minded and see things from my perspective

What I did in reality:
Nothing.

depression, recover from depression, how to get out of depression, suicide, international executive, expatriate life, self awareness, finding yourself, balanced life, overachiever and depression, burnt out cause depression, stress cause depression, prevent suicide, Beijing depression, Beijing suicide, Noch Noch, Bearapy,

Two days later, as I woke up with the bright blue skies gleaming through my bedroom curtains, a few truths dawned on me:

  • How could I expect my friends to know what XXX and ABC feels like if they had not gone through it themselves? So, why hate on them? Their inexperience is not their fault.
  • I thought they were reprimanding me, but were they? Emails make deciphering attitude difficult. Their tone through the written words were my own interpretation, and perhaps not their original intentions at all.
  • Was I being too sensitive at their responses? Too judgmental? Too critical? Too self-centered?

If I found them unempathetic, how empathetic was I to them?

I cannot change how my friends respond, but I can change how I respond to them.

Likewise, when you, my reader friend, tell your family and friends about your depression and inner struggles, try not to judge them for their responses that send you further down your rabbit hole. Remember, they do not know.

Maybe it is up to us to let them know. Someone has got to take the first step.

As for me, I am still going through XXX, but I feel less ABC. I have accepted the situation, but that does not mean I am over the moon about it. It is part of life. Some would welcome XXX with bells and red carpet, I am not that sort of person – and that is fine, whether others understand or not….

Bearapy

depression, recover from depression, how to get out of depression, suicide, international executive, expatriate life, self awareness, finding yourself, balanced life, overachiever and depression, burnt out cause depression, stress cause depression, prevent suicide, Beijing depression, Beijing suicide, Noch Noch, Bearapy,

6 Responses

  1. Patrice says:

    Good day Nochie,

    As I said before, it is always a delight to read you. I would simply like to thank you for your word above about being empathetic. It certainly requires a great level of confidence to be empathetic like you are in here…it takes courage, humility and an genuine solid emotional maturity to internalize it as you do. I wish you courage in your XXX unpleasant moment and I am convinced, because of who you are, that many rewarding, fulfilling, yet not always quiet and soothing, experiences will come out of this XXX situation you are undergoing at the moment…

    Thank you Nochie for sharing who you are with us…

    • nochnoch says:

      Thanks Patrice

      Yes I am dealing with XXX the way I feel most comfortable. I find it takes a lot of courage to not let what others say affect me and doubt myself. If I think it works best for me, then that’s how I do it… many people have different opinions. I suppose we can only respect their perspectives and feelings, and not try to impose ourselves on them. It is hard, but a little empathy always helps 🙂

      Take care
      Nochie

  2. Patrice says:

    Good day Nochie…

    Indeed many people have different opinions for when dealing with ABC situation… I wish you courage in your current situation and ”to not let what others say affect you and doubt yourself”… ”Just be you and be natural”

    I would like here to share a music from Arianna Savall you can listen when you feel to ‘’cocoon’’ within yourself… Enjoy if ever you do listen to it. It is called ”Canción De La Muerte Pequeña” Let me know if the link I provide does not work…

    Link for the song from Arianna Savall;

    http://rd.io/x/QVA5SDdIyNw/

    Take good care, courage and keep being and sharing who you are…

    P.

  3. Zest says:

    Honestly, I couldn’t stop reading your stories. There’s something in my mind that tells me to read and read. Please keep on writing. I’m here in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

    Take Care and God bless!

  4. […] this blog just be a dump for my thoughts and emotions? I don’t want to have to think about my target audience or what the takeaway is for […]

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) is born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Play Consultant for corporates interested in creative change management and employee well-being using the psychology of playfulness.