People get upset when they are disappointed, offended, or overall don’t get what they want or expect to get. And if you’re viewed as someone who has either done the disappointing, offending, or preventing – then you have likely experienced that person’s wrath.
Even Tony Soprano Wanted It
The world is a tough place. If your boss isn’t setting your teeth on edge, there’s a good chance the slow-poke driver in the fast lane will. Inconveniences occur daily and it’s difficult to live for one year without at least one major trial or setback occurring.
In the hit TV series “The Sopranos,” mob boss Tony Soprano owned a race horse called Pie-Oh-My. He loved that horse. In fact, it was interesting how sensitive and compassionate he could feel for an animal despite his proclivity toward anger and violence.
However, his beloved horse died in a stable fire. He was devastated. Even while having dinner with his in-laws, he was looking for someone to “get it” and express authentic sympathy for what had happened. But no one did. The only one who would listen was his therapist and he paid her to do so.
The world’s smallest violin
You may have been the brunt of this joke. When complaining about something, the person listening to you will rub their finger and thumb together while saying, “See this? It’s the world’s smallest violin playing for you.”
The message is, “I don’t feel sorry for you.” But is pity really what a person wants?
Pity is a strong feeling of sadness for someone or something.
Sympathy, though, is the feeling that you care about and are sorry about someone else’s trouble or grief.
It’s showing support for something – namely, another person’s misfortune.
The magic phrase
People just want to be heard and understood. When you communicate to someone that you’ve heard their trouble, they feel grateful.
When you communicate to someone that you care about their troubles and go a step further by showing it, you will really have their gratitude.
The “magic phrase” is this:
“I don’t blame you one bit for feeling the way you do. I totally get it. If I were you, I’d feel exactly the same way.”
You might be stunned by what happens after you say that phrase.
People aren’t used to someone really listening to them and then showing true sympathy. Sympathy is a gift. It’s not just for those who are grieving a death of a loved one or who just received bad news from a doctor.
Sympathy is for anyone who has had disappointing news and simply needs an understanding ear.
Yes, there are those who play upon other people’s sympathy. There are also those who seem to always need sympathy. But don’t allow such people to stop you from showing sympathy altogether.
Showing sympathy to those who are upset (and may be upset with you) by saying that magic phrase will often soothe them and cause them to rethink their own injured feelings.
Test it out and see what happens. Letting someone know that you understand them, have placed yourself in their shoes and are sympathetic with their own desires and ideas may just be the best thing you do all day.
You just might get the order, a change of someone’s decision, or a positive outcome. If nothing else, you will certainly gain the respect and gratitude of the person. And that to me is definitely worth something.