Josie Reichert, founder and director of Ort gallery, does the Listening to Yourself exercise
In my voice recording I ended up talking about emotional intelligence versus academic intelligence and how I have been making a big effort towards empathising with others but have been coming to points where I cannot give anymore. I realise that I need to allow myself to empathise with myself more than others.
I wasn't surprised at what happened as I talk to myself aloud a lot but I found a really simple solution to what has been bugging me recently and I keep forgetting to empathise with myself.
I find this experience fascinating. All the answers are within us and yet we have to remind ourselves regularly to listen to ourselves. I have a 3 year old and I repeat myself constantly. I realise that I have to do the same thing to my own inner child.
And I’m noticing that I’m letting go of these concepts of ego and instead I’m much more interested in emotions and empathy. And I’m noticing how hard it is to empathise with someone. So, a scenario for example where, someone is coming at me in what feels like quite a rude and rash way via an email. Now I’m trying to remind myself that it’s difficult to really know what someone is saying via email because I might be reading something into it and really they’re just mindlessly answering whilst queuing up at Tesco’s, umm or maybe I was right and maybe they are, you know upset by something I have said or disappointed or whatever. And so instead of just going, “urgh this person, typical” or instead of judging them or sort of deciding on how, making an assumption I guess. I’m trying to understand where they might be coming from and that they might be having a hard time and that maybe it’s unrelated to what we’re talking about, maybe we’re just emailing at a time when they’re really struggling, you know maybe they’re not doing well. But it takes a lot out of you because it is a lot easier to sort of just dismiss someone as “urgh rude” and move on and it is much harder to invest emotionally. And then I also realise that I can’t do this all the time for everybody, that I haven’t got enough time in the day, enough energy and enough emotions to do this and that I need to sometimes remove myself from that way of thinking, especially when I’m personally not doing well. So, that is something that I’m exploring right now.