Empathy - A tough practice
Practicing Empathy is the Challenge
Empathy is easy as a concept to understand & speak about but tough to practice. Empathy is not only about understanding the challenging situations & circumstances but gets complicated by the fact that one needs to understand the person first, his emotions next, the situational context thereafter and then blend him in the circumstances in which that person is transacting.
Practicing Empathy is like 'Method Acting'. The actor has to step outside his personal comfort zone and understand someone else's point of view ( who's character he is trying to portray). To be able to convincingly do so, the actor has to deeply immerse himself in the character that he is trying to portray.
Don't tell the people who seek your help on how you would react if you were put in their situation. Understand their real challenges and triggers that block first to be able to appreciate their reactions better. Your success thereafter depends on your ability to grasp the wants & needs of the people and help the person react better to the situation.
You cannot get into someone elses shoes whilst continuing to wear yours. First, get out of your shoes!!!