<span class='p-name'>Transitioning from Turning on Each Other to Turning Towards Each Other</span>

Transitioning from Turning on Each Other to Turning Towards Each Other

In an increasingly polarized world, Brené Brown’s groundbreaking work on vulnerability and empathy continues to shine a light on the possibilities of human connection. One of her most profound insights revolves around the shift from a model of turning on each other to turning towards each other. This paradigm, discussed at length in her various books and talks, is not just about resolving conflicts but also about building healthier relationships and communities.

Turning on each other is an all too common pattern in our relationships and social structures. It involves assigning blame, fostering division, and focusing on differences rather than commonalities. It’s a defensive strategy born out of fear and insecurity, one that ultimately leads to disconnection and conflict.

On the contrary, turning towards each other is about seeking understanding over being understood. It’s about acknowledging our shared vulnerabilities and moving towards empathy rather than judgment. In essence, this shift represents a move away from fear-based responses towards love-based responses.

So how do we make this shift? Let’s explore some ways:

  1. Cultivate Empathy: Empathy is the cornerstone of turning towards each other. It allows us to understand the feelings and experiences of others without judgment or defensiveness. To cultivate empathy, we must be willing to sit with discomfort and open ourselves up to the experiences of others.
  2. Practice Active Listening: Active listening involves fully focusing on, understanding, responding to, and then remembering what is being said by another person. This means putting aside our own agendas or preconceived notions in order to truly hear what someone else is saying.
  3. Embrace Vulnerability: Vulnerability can be scary because it involves exposing parts of ourselves that we often hide for fear of rejection or judgment. However, it’s through vulnerability that we create genuine connections with others.
  4. Acknowledge and Validate Feelings: Validating someone’s feelings doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with them. It simply means acknowledging their feelings and letting them know that their feelings make sense.
  5. Prioritize Connection Over Being Right: One of the key elements of turning towards each other is choosing connection over being right. This entails putting aside our need to win arguments or prove points, and instead focus on understanding the other person’s perspective.

Transitioning from turning on each other to turning towards each other isn’t an easy process. It requires us to unlearn many ingrained habits and behaviors. However, as Brené Brown’s work shows us, it’s a journey worth undertaking.

By embracing this shift, we can foster deeper connections, build stronger communities, and contribute to a kinder, more empathetic world. So let’s move away from fear and divisiveness and turn towards each other with empathy and understanding.

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Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

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