Creating Harmonious Relationships: a Practical Guide to the Power of True Empathy, Revised Edition, is empowering in a heartfelt way. It teaches the reader how to communicate wisely and effectively with other people. The basic technique is easy to grasp, and it is taught in a step-by step manner. It teaches how to listen in a way that invites the other person to open up and disclose what is really bothering them while also encouraging them to turn what might be their negative complaint into a positive hope. This is the use of "true empathy." It is particularly useful in defusing an argument when emotions are running high.
"True empathy" involves first acknowledging the other person's feeling state, as in "Are you upset because…?" This guess shows concern for the other person's feeling state and invites their correction. They might say, "I'm angry at you because you've only been criticizing my idea." Then you guess at what their positive hope might be that is behind their feeling criticized. You might reply, "So you're angry because what you really want is some positive support." Then they will supply what their hope is, in this case probably involving some kind of help. This defuses their emotional energy.
Hopes are a key concept in interpersonal communication. We are all motivated to get our hopes met. Hopes are such things as to be heard and understood, to be accepted. These are connection hopes. We also have freedom hopes such as to be free to express our creativity and to be treated with honesty. Hopes are positive needs that can be met without infringing on someone else. They are at the heart of effective conflict resolution.
This method of communicating is the culmination of techniques that have been practiced and refined over many decades. Thousands of people have learned and benefited from the first edition of Creating Harmonious Relationships: a Practical Guide to the Power of True Empathy. The book was sold out and the much awaited Revised Edition is now here.