Imagine resolving a conflict with a partner or child in half the time and with both parties walking away feeling happy and close.
Adults spend an enormous amount of time fixing issues, solving problems, and taking care of people, which can be exhausting. Often, there is minimal time during the day to bond with a partner or child. Empathy is a tool that when used correctly, allows a person to do all of the above in a short amount of time.
Shelly and Dan are eating dinner while on vacation. Shelly brings up several personal thoughts and feelings regarding an intense exhibit the couple encountered at the museum that day, yet Dan dismisses her thoughts. Without entertaining Shelly’s viewpoint, Dan reiterates his own opinion which Shelly has already heard multiple times. Hurt that Dan won’t consider her idea, she becomes upset. The kids are frustrated with Shelly for feeling upset and disrupting dinner. Dan smirks when the kids reprimand Shelly, which fuels her anger.
Because Dan and Shelly are with their kids, they are not able to resolve the conflict in the moment, but upon returning to the hotel, Shelly and Dan take a walk. Initially, Shelly and Dan are firmly entrenched in their own perspectives. In the heat of the moment, Dan admits he is upset about an interaction which occurred the previous night. The family was teasing Dan about something silly and Shelly made a comment that upset Dan. In Dan’s mind, Shelly had “crossed a line.”