• The Slim Habit

How are your empathy skills? You may need them


Have you thought what it’s going to be like when you’ve been successful in achieving your weight loss goal? What are the reactions of your friends and colleagues going to be to your weight loss, to the ‘new’ you? You will have to sharpen up your powers of empathy if you don’t want to be confused by their reactions

What is empathy? It’s your ‘social radar’. It provides vital social information. What’s empathy got to do with weight loss? Well, it hasn’t got a lot to do with the actual process of losing weight, but it has a great deal to do with the way you communicate with people and with relationships. As you lose weight, people’s reactions to you may change. This could affect some relationships, which is why understanding empathy is so important.

As you go through your Slim Habit programme, a slimmer, more confident you will be appearing. How will people react to this? It really depends upon you. Your thoughts have been focused on you and your feelings. This is understandable, but you’re running the risk of not picking up on other people’s reactions accurately and being able to interpret their emotions correctly. You need to ‘put yourself in their shoes’.

Reactions to the ‘new you’ are almost certainly going to be positive, but it will help you immensely if you remove your focus away from yourself and concentrate your attention on others. Notice how they look, their expression, the intonation in their voice, their body language. Try to put yourself in their situation and to recognize their emotions – in other words, empathies. You’re in a programme where you are the focus of your attention. Try not to become too introspective and inward-looking. Practicing your empathy skills will be helpful to you. Here are some tips:

  • Be attentive to emotional cues and listen well

  • Show sensitivity and understanding

  • Understand other people’s needs and feelings

  • NOTICE: Facial expressions, body language, moods, emotions. Be alert to when they change.

Losing weight has a huge number of advantages. Fine tuning your empathy skills will make a huge difference to your life and your relationships.


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