One of my friends shared with me this month the approach he’s taking to be more empathetic toward others. He switched from a ‘me first’ attitude to a ‘you first’ style.
A few months ago he began looking at how he relates to others by focusing on ‘Free from / Free for’. Allowing himself to be free from things that are important to him so he can be free for listening more closely to the person right in front of him.
“I went to a meeting,” he told me, “and there was a person who I needed to get answers from. I started to approach him to ask questions, caught myself and instead said hello and kept my mouth shut. That person then shared something that was important to him. Had I followed my natural tendency – jump right in to solve my concern – I would have missed the chance to help him.”
‘Free from (myself) to be free for (others)’ opens up a lot of possibilities. It also works in other areas of life…
Free from (watching the Super Bowl) to be free for (spending time with my family)
Free from (checking Twitter) to be free for (reading a business article)
Free from (parking near the entry) to be free for (getting exercise walking)