Simple Living Works!

Empathize first, please. . .

Posted on: March 28, 2013


Graphic: Spirit of Simplicity
2. Building Community

Maybe it’s a guy-thing. I really don’t like unsolicited advice. My spouse Rita says that women offer each other advice all the time.

So, when I’m complaining about something that didn’t go as expected, she used to pipe up with, “What you shoulda done is. . . .” That’s what you’d expect from a teacher. They’re fixers, problem-solvers.

Oh, ya, that’s another thing guys don’t like – being should’ed.

Now after 40+ years of marriage, when I complain, Rita empathizes first. She says, “Aint’t it awful! [pause] Would you like some input?” [pause]

I take a deep breathe and say, “Sure.” She asked my permission before giving me advice. It’s wonderful to be treated like an adult instead of a fourth-grader!

The second of five Life Standards of “Living More with Less” is “Nurture People, Not Stuff.”

Respect is a big part of Nurture.

Coming Soon: the Five Life Standards of Voluntary Simplicity from “Living More with Less” If you’re an over-achiever and want to skip ahead, this link leads to the blogs, audio, text, podcasts, etc. Or you can take it step-by-step and enjoy the ride.

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1 Response to "Empathize first, please. . ."

It’s funny: in my relationship, my DH is the fixer. I hate it, but we are working on empathy first. Good post!

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