but they can give you a grip on many a problem.
No social skill is more important than empathy. Some people are
seen as more accepting and less critical or judgmental than others.
Such people are called "empathic;" they are easy to talk to; they
enable us to "open up." In order to disclose, especially problems and
feelings we are ashamed of, we must feel safe, i.e. understood, liked,
and accepted by the person with whom we are talking. This is true in
therapy...and in friendship...and in love. So, if you want to get to
know another person, be empathic, tolerant, and genuinely concerned
about his/her welfare. If you aren't really concerned about his/her best
interests, don't pretend to be. Being empathic--being a true friend--is
a cherished gift to offer; it is offering an open heart. Empathy
responding is not easy to learn (in fact, no one ever masters all the
knowledge and life experience involved). Empathy is emphasized in
chapter 13 because it is such a vital attitude and communication skill.
Learn it well; use it often.
Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I
talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found
that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also--if you love them
-George Washington Carver
Sustaining Long-Term Relationships
Improving relationships--a review
There are so many things a person can do to better relationships.
Most are common sense: avoid threatening or putting others down by
using titles or by being formal in speech or mannerisms, smile, dress
like they do, let others help you and give you information, learn
information you can share with them, work together on joint projects,
do fun things together too, avoid competition and criticism, help them
solve problems, reward their efforts and express your genuine
appreciation, and give them your time. Most of us were already
"experts" at gaining attention and winning affection by the time we