Empathy in Relationships

Connection and Safety

Empathy in relationships is a vital component for relationships to be healthy and rewarding. We know how touched we feel when someone is genuinely empathic while we’re sharing something with that person. A state of connection is generated and we are left feeling safe, which cultivates a sense of trust in the relationship. We also know how minimized we feel if someone is unable to show empathy when we’re sharing with them. Our bodies let us know that connection didn’t happen with possible resulting feelings like rejection, anger, or neediness. If the person doesn’t demonstrate some level of empathy toward us, a connection won’t happen and trust won’t flourish.

One of the deceptive aspects of the concept of empathy is that empathy skills need to be taught. We tend to know what it feels like to receive empathy, yet, with our extremely complex human methods of communication, we often don’t know what empathy actually sounds like or looks like. Even with our best intentions, our behavior may often fall short.

Betrayal–a Barrier, Not a Wall

There are few relationships where this misfire is more pronounced than in relationships where there has been betrayal. Reestablishing – or perhaps more simply, establishing – trust in the relationship is an enormous task. Being able to genuinely demonstrate empathy for your partner who has experienced your betrayal is a fundamental component to healing. It’s not easy, but the tools can be taught and practiced.

Learning Empathy

The Quality of Presence Workshop is where these tools are taught. Using a creative combination of Brene Brown’s Connections Curriculum, Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication strategies, and the wealth of experience from the Novus Relationship Counseling Center staff, we have engineered a two-day workshop that teaches men how to understand and cultivate a sense of empathy for their partners. The workshop will teach you how to communicate from a quiet place of knowing, understand your own blocks to connection, and gain relational wisdom.

Empathy is a crucial element to thriving partnerships. Most of us need direct teaching to understand how to demonstrate it effectively. If you’re in that category or questioning if you’re in that category, you’re most definitely not alone. Learning these skills will transform your relationships and leave you and those you care about most feeling more intimate and healthy. Connection is possible. Empathy is the road there.

To Participate

If you are interested in participating in the Quality of Presence intensive workshop, please contact the Novus Relationship Counseling Center. We have offices conveniently located in Orange County and Long Beach.

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