When you speak "I know exactly how you feel" come someone who is suffering, you might be invalidating your feelings. ~ all, you deserve to never truly know what another person is walk through.

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When someone speak you “I know just how you feel,” it can seem like a nice, empathetic gesture. However, native a psychological suggest of view, it’s not constantly the ideal choice. The reality is the you can’t fully understand what one more person is walk through. Consequently, the always much better just to listen and also let them recognize they have your support.

One the the reasons why this response is problematic is due to the fact that you frequently don’t even know or understand exactly what it is you’re feeling. So as soon as someone almost casually throws out that they know exactly what you’re walk through, it’s no really appropriate. Most civilization aren’t therapists no one psychology experts.

You’re most most likely to experience this v those who are closest come you. Parents use this expression all the time to speak to their kids. Telling a child “I know how you feel” frequently gets in the method of them telling you precisely what lock going v in their own words.

You need to never forget the every human being being is unique and also lives in their very own universe. Their universe could be chaotic, with planets hurtling every which method and tiny black holes the no one else have the right to see.

“Be that you are and also say what you feel, because those that mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

-Bernard Baruch-

When civilization say “I know how you feel,” they regularly don’t

Most the us fall into the bad habit of assuming things rather of actually asking. We execute that since it requires less cognitive effort and also helps us save time. The much easier to i think you recognize something based upon the details you already have.

For example, stop say a coworker tells you the she had actually a poor day with her partner. You’re most likely inclined come say “I know just exactly how you feel.” That makes you feel like you’re gift empathetic and connecting v your coworker. However you in reality aren’t. We often tend to forget that another person’s emotional frame will never ever be the exact same as our own. 

What’s more, in these kinds of situations, saying “I know how you feel” no actually very empathetic. Instead of acknowledging the various other person’s feelings and validating them, you’re simply validating her own. And also that isn’t really helpful.

We’re naturally inclined to connect with others, yet we don’t always know exactly how to

During their research study for a university of Virginia study, Drs. Roadway Beckes and James A. Coan uncovered something very interesting. The human brain has a series of neural trends exclusively dedicated to making relations with various other people. We regularly have such a strong connection v others the we deserve to actually feeling their suffering.

That gift said, emotion what the other person feels no always allow us to completely comprehend someone else’s reality. A mother deserve to suffer for her boy without knowing what’s happening come them. A friend deserve to feel your pain without understanding precisely what you’re walking through. It is why it’s so necessary to know just how to connect in one appropriate and also respectful way.


What’s the best method to connect with who who’s having actually a hard time?

Whether that a child, a teenager, your best friend, or a stranger, try to protect against resorting come “I know how you feel.” In fact, you shouldn’t assume the two civilization who are going v the same instance are necessarily suffering the same emotions.

Here’s an example. Drs. Klaus R. Scherer and Agnes Moors from the university of Geneva walk an interesting experiment. Castle asked 3000 adults the same question: exactly how would you feeling if girlfriend heard 2 friends talk bad about you?

Surprisingly, researchers established up come 14 different varieties of emotional responses to the prompt. Some people said they would be angry. Others would be embarrassed and also disappointed. Part felt guilty, others stated they would certainly feel lonely, and also some even said they would feel indifferent due to the fact that anyone who would speak behind your backs merely couldn’t it is in a friend anymore.

Given the wide variety of feasible emotional responses to this straightforward scenario, “I know exactly how you feel” seems less and less appropriate. However what other kinds that responses are there? Well, the most necessary thing is to know how to really listen. Then, mental that specific phrases and words deserve to make the other human put increase walls.

Avoid saying points such as “That’s nothing,” “I’ve to be there, she overreacting,” “This constantly happens to you,” “You need to emphasis on other else,” etc.Instead of saying “I know how you feel,” speak “Tell me how you feel.”

Sometimes, a an easy “I’m here for you” is the finest response. At the finish of the day, the goal is to be present and available. You desire to create a emotion of safety and also intimacy where nothing is assumed and no one is passing referee on anyone rather or anyone’s feelings.

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Klaus R., y Scherer, am (2019) El proceso de la emoción: evaluación de eventos y diferenciación de componentes. Revisión anual de psicología 70: 1