Empathy Is Your Superpower In Dating and Relationships
My podcast guest, ‘Figs’ O’Sullivan, believes empathy is your superpower. Learn two questions every couple asks. You don’t want to miss this episode!
As heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, my podcast guest, Fiachra Figs O’Sullivan, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, certified in EFT for couples. He’s the creator of the Empathi method and the certification process for Empathi coaches. His life’s mission is to help couples feel more connected.
Check out highlights below for EP 369: Figs O’Sullivan – Empathy is Your Superpower in Dating and Relationships.
Empathy Is Your Superpower
What inspired you to become a couples counselor?
The main inspiration was my own pain and suffering. I am a wounded healer. Wounded first, healer second, which is fundamental to any healer. I have to have access to the wounds to heal others.
I am the son of an alcoholic father, and there are gifts in being betrayed by life that way. It gave me opportunity to empathize with others and develop vulnerability.
Why is empathy so important in dating and relationships?
Empathy is your availability to take the perspective of another person and feel it in your body. That’s essential in dating and relationships. Humans need to know we’re not alone, and when we’re hurting, you are there for me.
Why do people struggle so much with showing empathy towards others?
Most people are not given classes on empathy. It’s something we assume we’ll pick up. The essence of my work is to see that two people are in a system with each other. One person is not extremely empathic while the other is not empathic at all. People try to avoid pain. It’s not that they’re really lacking in empathy.
There are two main questions being asked.
- Are you there for me? (Am I special to you, do you love me, see me) The woman usually asks this in a heterosexual relationship. They’re really saying, I’m disappointed in you. You’re not really there for me.
- Am I enough for you? (Usually asked in more subtle ways.) The partner gets triggered into “I’m not sure I’m good enough.” How about now? Or they avoid asking the question. It triggers an old wound. The way they pull away signals to their partner that they’re not really there for you. Both want to feel loved and connected, and they co-create sadness and devastation.
FIRST DATE TIP: Validate the person you’re on a date with. Little mini or micro touches makes them feel less guarded and more open and comfortable. It tells the limbic system that they are safe and don’t have to inflate themselves in this moment.
What is the Empathi Relationship Quiz and Assessment process? How would a single person benefit from it?
At empathi.com there’s a free quiz. You can take it whether you’re single or in a relationship. It will tell you who you are from an attachment perspective. If you’re in a relationship, you can invite your partner to take the quiz, and then you get your relationship system report and what you have to do to make a relationship work.
If you’re single, send the invitation to another email of your own, and do method acting by embodying your past partner(s). Then you read their self-discovery report, and it helps you understand them better and your relationship system.
What’s your best advice for listeners who want to go on their LAST FIRST DATE?
Get to know your own reactivity. Any time you’re in judgment of another, it’s inside you. It’s a vulnerable experience you’re having. Share it. “I’m having a vulnerable experience.” And don’t make a request. When you make a request, you trigger their alert system that “I’m not enough”.
Learn more about Figs and his empathy quiz here.
Please take a moment to rate and review our show on iTunes here. Thank you!
Want to finally attract the epic love you deserve? Schedule your complimentary 1/2 hour Love Breakthrough Session. Learn how coaching with Sandy can help you fall in love with a partner who meets you on every level. https://lastfirstdate.com/breakthrough