Since I'm posting twice today, I'm just going to jump right in with another thing I've learned in my tough times starting in 2014.
I have, in this past year, seen people acting with absolutely no regard for the people around them. And I've seen how people can say they're putting themselves in my shoes, then turn around and prove that they simply don't care about my situation any more than to see in which way it will benefit them.
To those sorts of people, I can honestly say: "Get out of my shoes. You're soiling them and you're contaminating my life."
I don't think so. Honestly, I've been thinking about empathy for a while now, and I've realized that saying: "I put myself in your shoes" is nothing more than empty lip-service.
In fact, coming from the people I mentioned above, I realized that it can be down-right demeaning. Because have you ever noticed how people who are so proud of putting themselves in other's shoes, never really see the problem? Oh, they are so proud of seeing the problem. Of understanding why someone is hurt, or upset, or struggling.
But they never do.
And insinuating that you can see my point of view simply by pretending to be me for a few moments... That's insulting.
The thing is, I've also done this. I think everyone does. It's this way our human culture has of trying to bridge the gap between people. But because of my last year, I'm working hard not to look at people from their shoes.
I don't fit in their shoes.
I can't wear their shoes.
I can only wear my own, look at the people around me and say:
I don't understand.
Is there any way I can help?
Because that, rather than passing judgement (good or bad), is empathy.
Have you ever been frustrated when someone acts like they understand you when they obviously don't?