Welcome to week #2 about empathy! Did you give your Valentine the gift of empathy last week? (and if you are your own Valentine— I hope you gave it to yourself!)  This week, you will learn to ASK for empathy. Shall we?

It’s hard to admit this, but we can’t change other people. The only actions we can change are our own. So, if we want empathy from others, we have to take some responsibility for getting it. We have to ASK for it. Here are some phrases you can try out to help embolden you to ask for what you need.

How could you benefit from the gift of empathy?

In this week’s Illuminate experiment, you’ll practice asking for the gift of empathy from someone else. You will hone your skills of asking for what you need + opening the space for others to do the same. And you will certainly strengthen your relationships while you’re at it!

For this week’s experiment….

Ask for empathy. Here are some phrases to try out before saying something hard:

1. ‘I am going to say something difficult, so I would like you to just listen for a minute before speaking. Can you do that for me?’

2. ‘I am going to say something right now, and I just need a hug afterwards. Could you do that?’

3. ‘I just need to be listened to right now. Could I set a timer for one minute and just vent?’

This may seem difficult to say, and that’s okay. This is just an experiment, and with time it will become easier. Start with someone you already trust.

Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine being in a difficult situation. Then, imagine asking for empathy from someone using one of these phrases.

You’re ready to start asking for empathy!


What emotions came up for you when imagining asking for empathy? Where do you feel those emotions in your body?

Do you ask for empathy rarely, sometimes, or frequently? How does this impact your relationships?

How could asking for more empathy help you get to your goals?

PS— Next week is Illuminate’s very first workshop with me:A Workshop for Perfectionists! I can’t wait. If you could use an affordable, powerful, and community-based boost in your SELF-empathy, check it out here! I would love to meet you… virtually! 😉 

See you next week!

Illuminate is a weekly e-mail series that provides practical tips + galvanizing inspirations for practicing an emotionally intelligent life. In our time together, we’ll operate from the assumption that you have all the wisdom you need inside of yourself + that you have a purpose the world needs to see. We will explore the tools + techniques to illuminate your own inner wisdom and purpose. If you’d like to receive this free gift of goodness in your inbox every week, subscribe here.

Maria Jackson

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