Exploring Non-Empathetic, Habitual Responses

How do you respond after listening to someone share?

In the following 5-minute video, I ask some questions to spark exploration within you around this very theme.


[Video Description: Tara – a white-bodied being – walking outside, coming to a seat on the ground. They are wearing a backwards black and white baseball cap and a black hoodie that says, “Red River College” on it in red and white lettering. The transcript for this video is available here.]

Another way to work through this is to reverse the roles!

Have you ever been telling someone a story and they proceeded to:

  • Give you advice,
  • One-up you,
  • Educate you,
  • Tell their own story,
  • Shut down your feelings,
  • Pity you,
  • Investigate/interrogate you, or
  • Correct you?

I’m going to guess that these types of responses – while welcome sometimes – don’t always meet your need for being understood or supported.

Sometimes we just want empathy: someone to be there with us in our feelings and (un)met needs. Full stop. That’s it.

No fixing you. No trying to make you feel better. Just plain empathy.

Nonviolent Communication suggests that empathy is the response that will most often increase connection between two people (and self-connection too!).

read more about nonviolent communication here

The thing is, we have not been taught to empathize! In a domination culture that is outcome/goal oriented, mixed with a general aversion to discomfort, we will often divert to these types of non-empathetic responses to avoid connecting with our humanity.

It takes PRACTICE to effectively listen empathically.

And this is what we are going to practice in the Compassionate Communication Masterclass starting on August 10! Increase your connection to yourself and those around you!

And because it is so valuable to have an empathy buddy to practice with…

THIS WEEK ONLY (August 2-6): If you register for two spots at once, you will receive 25% off the second spot! Work on this skill with a friend! With a co-worker! With your romantic partner! Use code: ’empathybuddies’ at checkout.

(And if you have already registered and want to bring a friend on board, just reach out to me and we will make it happen!)

There are only four spots left in total. If you are feeling the call to give this a try, please come join us! Ask any questions or register today 💚

With love,



This post is inspired by the work of:

Marshall Rosenberg and the CNVC

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Exploring Non-Empathetic, Habitual Responses – the one person revolution