#42: Empathy is suspending judgment
I don’t know what you feel
After multiple attempts to empathize with a friend, I realized I don’t know what he truly feels. I also remembered instances where I was able to empathize with someone only after I lived through a similar experience. I am wondering if I can only really perceive the pain I have encountered myself. Either way, it seems wise to suspend judgment of other people. In moments when I feel the urge to judge, I tell myself:
I can’t understand you right now because I haven’t lived through your experience. I’ll refrain from judgment because I know that I don’t know how it feels. Down the road, maybe I’ll empathize with your situation when I live through one myself.