Practical ways to practice empathy

If I know anything about kindness, it’s only what I’ve learned from my many failures to show kindness to others. I’m pretty sure we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. So today I want to share a few things I’ve been thinking about lately.

Empathy is fundamentally about emotions. It’s the ability to understand and respond to another person’s emotions, and even to feel their emotions for yourself. Like most things, it’s a skill that requires constant refinement.

Let’s start with what NOT to do:

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Restaurant Romance

If I hadn’t quit my job, I wouldn’t have met the love of my life. 

Two years ago, I worked as a hostess at a restaurant called Hinoki and the Bird. I was tired of handing out menus and walking around in high heels. My dream was to become a bartender, and I thought I stood a chance because I’d previously been a busser and a barback at two other restaurants. 

When I asked Hinoki’s management if I could train behind the bar, they brushed me off with “maybe next year.” I was too impatient. I took their response as a sign that my future wasn’t in the restaurant industry.

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