NED… What is that?

Today is NED!

No… Not you, Flanders!

It’s National Empathy Day.

Empathy is a key value of people I believe, and I am always trying to develop this further within myself.

It’s often something that causes me a lot of mental strain because of the way I am, but I try to understand or relate to other people and what circumstances they are in.

With how Dyspraxia affects me, I’m slightly less say, forgiving as some may be. But that’s down to personal experience that I’ve had in interpersonal connections. So I’m often wary of who I give the time of day to.

That’s not to say I don’t do all I can to support people. Because I do! Once I find people who I can “let in” and trust, I will show them empathy and do all I can to be there for them at all times.

After all, this is what empathy is all about. I often use this quote “we are all battling through a storm at some stages of life, but we are guiding ourselves through this in different boats.” I love this quote and it really just reinforces the point that you may not entirely understand someone’s circumstances, but being there to listen *free of judgement is what people need.

I’m doing everything to remove the judgement. It’s a double edged sword for me. Due to different scenarios I’ve been in before, I will never let my kindness be mistaken for a weakness… Ever again! Which is why, as I say, if I believe I can wholeheartedly trust someone, I shall afford them the empathy and a listening ear. And hopefully, just hopefully, my connection with said person could last a lifetime.

Of course, for people like myself, what many don’t actually understand is that sometimes we can end up putting a lot of energy into being empathetic, that we turn into the person in question rather than being on the outside looking in. This then sets off the emotions and then the sheer possibility that I or someone like me could end up being more emotionally connected to the situation than the person we are listening to or trying to connect with.

So, as I say, empathy is a great value to have and people that do have it in bucket loads, that is something to be proud of. Because it will encourage more people to believe that you have what it takes to be a friend. There’s many directions this could go, which is why I feel balance is important, despite it being a day to celebrate something that is a strength of many Dyspraxic people.

Something else that I’m currently doing in fact to help myself learn more about the art of empathy, is a counselling skills course. I am very much enjoying this and developing some key knowledge that could prove very useful later on.

There are many things I want to achieve and get involved in to help different communities to grow and develop. Empathy will play a huge role in this process and I can safely say it’s something that will be very much on show throughout the journey.

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