“The more we learn to recognize other people’s individual physical and emotional needs, the more we come to empathize with them.” – Rabbi Yisroel Miller, In Search of the Jewish Woman
I gravitate towards personal inner work because I enjoy it very much. But it can be hard to stay cognizant of other people’s needs as well, and stretch myself to think of them. I gathered a few really simple ways to practice keeping others’ needs on my mind. (Some are ideas I read in the book referenced above).
- Put a quarter in an expired meter.
- Let someone else have the last word in a conversation.
- Allow others to finish what they have to say without interruption.
- Privately wish someone well when passing their house.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- Stop to give directions to someone who looks lost.
- Offer to pick up coffee or lunch or photocopies for a coworker when going to get your own.
- Bring extra paper goods.
- Make it a point to respond to texts and emails sooner rather than later so people feel heard.
- Pay a compliment to someone who probably doesn’t get very many.
- And this most important one — mark down birthdays and other people’s special events (ex. day of a flight, CPA exam) in your phone and remember to send a good wishes text.
Do you have some more ideas to add? Thanks!