Orson Scott Card’s book Ender Game beautifully depicts empathy.
“In the moment, when I truly understood my enemy, understood him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment, I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they love, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.”
Extending this to relationships beyond that of an enemy, to friends and family, in order to understand, empathize, and sympathize with them it demands vulnerability.
As Brené Brown says, “You can’t access empathy if you aren’t vulnerable.“
Is a barrier to your ability to empathize your refusal to be vulnerable?