The way we perceive people or analyze life events is purely subjective. Maybe that’s why we sometimes find it difficult to put ourselves into other people’s place. But we need to develop the skill of being able to interpret the other person’s feelings or reactions, especially when that person is an important part of our life. In this endeavor, empathy helps us, on the one hand, to better understand people’s behavior, and, on the other hand, to identify emotionally with the condition in which they find themselves.
Sometimes words may be poor and silence is enough to comfort in order to give space to the other person, or simply a way to nurture the relationship. Some other times, we may need to ask the other person directly how he or she is feeling. The empathy and immediacy that we have as children, in the course of our lives is lost somewhere and while empirically we interpret more easily the interaction and possible feelings of those around us, we forget to put ourselves into their shoes.
Self awareness, good spirit and good will is required to stand in someone’s shoes, don’t you think?