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The Emotional Empathy Challenge – Do you have the Power?

Recently, I had an unexpected and heartwarming encounter at Lego World. A young man who worked there approached me and, with a beaming smile, told me that I had been his mentor about ten years ago. He shared how our time together had a profound impact on his life, helping him stay out of trouble and navigate his challenges. This unexpected affirmation of appreciation meant the world to me. It reminded me of the power of emotional empathy and gave me the fuel to tackle even the hardest tasks.

The Heart of Emotional Empathy


Emotional empathy is about being fully present with someone else's emotions, whether they are feeling joy, sorrow, or pain. It's about setting aside your own feelings to prioritize theirs, offering a comforting word or a supportive hug.

Here are some examples of emotional empathy statements you can use:


- “That sounds so frustrating.”

- “I’m here to listen.”

- “It seems like you are trying your best.”

- “I’m so glad you told me.”

- “It sounds like you’re struggling with deciding which direction to go.”


When we demonstrate emotional empathy, we show others that they are valued and understood. This kind of validation can build a strong foundation of trust and emotional security. As the saying goes,

“They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.”


The Power of Expressing Appreciation


Affirmations, especially those of appreciation, can strengthen emotional bonds and encourage positive behavior. Even if giving affirmations feels awkward, their impact can be profound. Here are a few examples:


Expressing Appreciation:

  1.    "Thank you for having such good manners at dinner. It really made the evening special."

  2.    "Thank you for helping out with the chores without being asked. It really helps the whole family run smoother."

  3.    "I appreciate how patient you were with your co-worker today."

  4.    "Thank you for being so attentive at the meeting. It made it really enjoyable."

  5.    "I really appreciate how hard you worked on your school project. Your dedication shows."


Taking a moment to recognize and appreciate the positive actions of the people in our lives can have lasting effects. These affirmations not only reinforce good behavior but also make people feel seen and valued.


Challenge: Practice Affirmations


Take a moment to write down one affirmation of appreciation for someone in your life. Reflect on their recent actions or qualities and create a personalized affirmation that celebrates their unique self. This exercise will help you build a stronger emotional bond and contribute to their well-being.


By practicing emotional empathy and using affirmations of appreciation, we can create deeper connections and provide the support children need to thrive. For more insights and practical tips, check out my book C.A.P.E. Conversations: How Superheroes Communicate with Children.



*Statements on this blog reflect the author's personal opinions and do not represent any other person, company, or organization. The purpose of this blog is to provide general knowledge and to raise awareness of tools, techniques, people, and organizations that bring about positive change. The reader is strongly encouraged to perform independent research about the topics discussed.

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