August 6, 2014

We have all heard of empathy and realize how important this is to help others feel we are truly with them, it helps people recover and feel heard, held and understand. But there is another key element when we help others and that is congruence. This is often a difficult state to achieve and can be painful for us as the helper too. Congruence is all about being real no matter what we feel or hear and being able to share that with people.


Its all about being authentic and genuine when we are with other people, knowing what is our own feelings and reaction and more importantly owning them,. So when someone asks us how we are and we say ‘oh I am fine’ when we actually are not, we are being in-congruent at that point. When we act and behave in a way that is a reflection of how we feel we are self aware, we know how we feel otherwise when we try to be congruent we fail as we don’t know what we are feeling.
But we have to be aware of the impact of sharing our feelings on others especially if we are trying to help them. We can not always be uninhibited or frank with our real feelings, when we decide to share our emotions we need to sensitive, check out our motivations and respectful and eve if we decide now is not the right time to share our feeling we still should not pretend to happy or approve of something we do not feel is right.
When someone is helping us we need to know that what is bothering us has some impact on them too, imagine telling a friend your deepest sorrow and they sat there and did not react.  We would feel like they did not hear us , they did not care or they were bored. When we receive congruence we know we have made an impact on someone even if it is not what we want to hear. But we all know when someone is not being genuine or real and we all know how it feels to be missed completely.
To practice congruence we need to increase our self awareness and be prepared to share the good and the bad feelings we have. A good place to start is that ‘how are you’ question, next time be honest if you feel poorly then be honest alternatively if you feel fabulous tell them too. Then next time someone tells you about something stop and check how you really feel about that and share your feelings too.
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