Imagine someone close to you complaining about their shoes. They’re too tight. They cause blisters. There’s a weird bump at the toe.
“Let me see,” you say as you slip your feet inside.
“These aren’t too tight! And there is no weird bump!”
Empathy? Not really.
Unsurprisingly, their size 12 shoes are not too tight for your size 9 feet. You come nowhere close to that weird bump at the toe. In fact, from your perspective, these shoes are way too loose.
Empathy is not actually about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.
It’s putting yourself in someone else’s feet.
It’s seeing the world from their perspective. Appreciating their situation, circumstances, perspectives, and feelings. Even (and especially) if they are not your own.