Rishi knew that his friend Tina was waiting to hear back about a prospective job offer. After months of applications and multiple rejections, she had felt confident that she would get an offer. Rishi was excited for his friend.
But the organization decided to go with another candidate. Tina was devastated. She felt all her effort had been in vain. She started believing that she would never get a job anywhere.
Rishi reached out to her to try and comfort her. To his surprise, she was cold and distant. Nothing he could say to her helped.
Have you ever been in a similar situation?
Understanding Others’ Feelings
There are countless instances of a person behaving in a way that others find difficult to understand. You may have experienced the confusion that comes from being unable to understand others’ emotions.
Being considerate, compassionate and empathetic is key to understanding others. If someone is reaching out to you, take their hand, listen to them and give them your time.
For instance, in the workplace, people often work in pairs or teams. In this scenario, understanding each other can help you work faster and more efficiently. You can rely on each other, help out if one of you has too much on your plate and even discuss what is troubling you.
Let’s explore the importance of understanding yourself and others and see how it helps one become a reliable team member and friend.
How To Understand Others’ Feelings
Understanding others’ feelings doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need to do is listen, observe and act. If you really pay attention, you can even pick up cues like others’ facial expressions that convey their true emotions.
Here’s how to understand others—and yourself—with simple tips that you can incorporate into your life:
Sometimes actions speak louder than words. If you can learn to read people—the way they move their hands, their facial expressions and gestures—you can understand them better. You can be good at identifying what irks them and what delights them. Understanding others is all about paying attention and picking up on cues. A smile that doesn’t reach the eyes or an anxious expression can tell you a lot about how someone is feeling.
The next time a friend or colleague is sharing something important, make an effort to listen attentively. We tend to jump the gun and start giving advice. But it’s more important to let someone finish their story before giving solutions—maybe they just need to let off steam. Being a good listener is one of the simplest ways of understanding each other.
If understanding others’ feelings seems difficult, imagine yourself in their position. In the example, if Rishi had imagined himself in Tina’s shoes, he would have understood that she wasn’t upset with him but was disappointed about not landing the job. Empathy involves objectivity and open-mindedness. If you let your biases and prejudice overshadow your judgment, you won’t be able to help others as well as you’d like to.
Reach Out To People
While you’re trying to understand others, don’t forget to look out for yourself. Reach out to someone you trust and seek their advice and support when you need it. In any relationship, understanding each other means to be present without judgment. If you think your friend or colleague is going through a hard time, you can reach out to them first. Your initiative will go a long way in helping them come out of their shell.
Understanding others’ feelings will make you more perceptive in your personal and professional life. You’ll learn how to work well in a team, understand where people are coming from and empathize with them. These are critical skills in the workplace that help you better deal with different types of people.
Learn how to understand friends, family and coworkers—as well as yourself—with Harappa’s Decoding Others course. Our course is designed to help you build lasting relationships, interpret emotions and draw insights through observations. You’ll identify ways to work well with others. Sign up for the course to start understanding others better!
Explore topics such as What is Empathy, How to be Empathetic, Empathy at Workplace & Three-Step Process for Reading People from Harappa Diaries and develop critical work skills that will help you deal with different types of people.
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