One of the difficulties we run into when we talk about empathy and being empathetic (as discussed in yesterday's blog post) is the challenge of not wanting to communicate agreement or tacit approval when we in fact disagree with the thoughts, feelings or perspectives of the other.
When we think we would not think, feel or perceive a situation the way the other is thinking about, feeling or perceiving a situation, it can feel hard to offer empathy. After all, if you offered an empathetic response to their experience, aren't you communicating that your agreement?
YES, you communicate your agreement that what they are offering is the truth of their perspective and you would not try to change their mind about it. But, NO, it does not mean you communicate agreement - that you also think, feel and perceive the situation the same way.
You see, empathy isn't about agreement or approval. It's about allowing the other to feel that they are important enough to you to be seen, heard, and understood just as they are. And THAT is where real loving connections take hold.