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How might we show families how satisfying empathy circles are for their communication?

Family overview

  • S. mother 35
  • R. father
  • M. 3 years old daughter
  • A. 1 ½ years old son

Tell about your family?
Mother of 2 wonderful children, they get a lot of attention, cause they are very young and they need it, partner and she often go into the same direction, but there are moments, days or topics where that’s not the case and they miss understanding, patience, empathy, time, and energy

We are far from perfect but there is the will to change and improve, sometimes it is difficult to realize it. I told you those things, because I could also tell from other situations, but I have talked about stuff that’s relevant for the topic of the interview and not about family trips on the weekend.

What are the most positive effects of your family?
What do you mean with your family, my core family?

Yes about your actual family but not about your family of origin.
Well the most positive effect of my family is that my partner and the children do have a lot of fun. He has a lot of humour in the everyday life, with the children, sometimes also with me.

Where I think that I do not bring that into my family that way, I am more the consequent and strict person. Laughing Maybe it would be good for me be sometimes more humourful and funny

The children are an important connection, I am fascinated of my children and I share this with my partner.

What is the positive effect of being more strict and serious?

I think I do give the children a lot of security and that stuff get done, which need to be done. That includes to be more serious and not to be that funny.

What about positive effects of your family in comparison to other families?

We are more open. The older daughter would like to invite her friends every day. I am very social. Have a friend here every week. They also have children so they play together. And R. is very interested, goes to meetups and talks to people and he and we as family are treated as interesting conversation partners which is to a great part his earnings. We are people wo others like to meet.

Are there any problem areas?

Ohhhh, a lot, a lot, laughing you see now I am joking. I am learning. We do not have time. I am too tired for having sex. I am not in the mood for. R. is frustrated. There are tensions that explode, to the sorrow of us and the children. We do not talk about those things that are important, as we spend so much time to survive, well let’s say master the everyday life. There is no time and energy left. If any, togetherness only happens as an exceptional case, which means we two are without children and could talk to each other, if we would like to. Well, I think that happens to many families with your children, who do not have the support from the grand parents to pass on the kids to the grandma.

So if there is time, we do stuff with the children we go to the playground, to a kids theatre, go for a walk to the forest, so there is no time, to talk. If we talk we stay on the surface and also emotional I stay on the surface. Emotional movement. Hmmm. That’s enough for now.


Was there any change recently or is that something you know from the past and did you set any steps to improve those situations?

I became aware of the situation in our family and between me and my partner in spring because my partner refered to it constantly, that there is no time to talk, and that he is frustrated and that was also the moment when I had time and energy to deal with this topics. Before A. was so much baby that it simply did run and there was no reflexion. I noticed that because of hints of my partner.

Well we, I decided for a holiday in Austria with all-inclusive service, so that we were not occupied with cooking, … We used a lot of time with reading, watching films, a little bit, or we took some time without talking about big topics, although we talked, were I have big troubles with, because I feel easily criticised and the conversation flow is not optimal because I go to a defensive mode.

When we came back I had the feeling that this was a kind of kick-off, and that I also try in everyday life to encourage ehhh listen more.

Well, I bought a book with the title “the seven secrets of a successful marriage”, I can absolutely recommend, an absolute good book with a lot of true stuff. So now I know where the problem points are, but that to change it’s not sufficient to read the book. I can see my own relationship and with relationships to others what runs badly and why I am not happier and why R. is not happier and what would be necessary to be happier.

I also copied pages and filled out the checklists, my results were awful, I got very little points, which actually has it’s good because otherwise the book wouldn’t help. Also R. agreed to fill out, but finally he didn’t but used the time differently. But maybe that’s my intention to get things ticked off, and that’s anyway not the way to solve the issues.

However he bought the book in English and read most of it. That’s what he did and I think that’s quite great, well not only quite, that’ great.

Was there any exchange of opinions? E.g. what you thought is the most important, …

Well there was no really discussion. Sometimes R. says something and I say “oh that’s related to the book” and “Yes that’s correct, that’s written there” but there was the idea to do this with working on the checklists during our holiday.

Well they are still there …

Hmmm, how did I become aware of the book?
Was there any article about that, which motivated me to search for it on amazon. Was there any other book. I can remember that I searched for it but I don’t know why I have chosen that one?

There are many others ?

So books are a source of information for you …

Yes, I am nodding with my head, for the audio protocol laughing

Are there other ways where to get new ideas what to do if you want to change something e.g. the communication in your family?

I talk to people of my environment i.e. people of my trust, e.g. Carmen, the day nanny, who e.g. also recommended me a book. I talked to other mothers of children. Door openers are here to talk about myself, so I got another book recommendation concerning the children, I first borrowed that book and bought it later on, which helped me a lot and still helps.
Others I asked for useful books, but didn’t get recommendations.

So my information sources are people who are in similar situations or know my situation well, people who know me personally.

What does Empathy mean to you?


Can you remember a situation, when you felt fully understood? Your peak empathic moment …

Well I felt like that, maybe not related to family, when I was with D. from Venecuela who I met in Sweden, maybe not while a phone call I am not so sure but when she was physically here or I with her.

With her I feel 200 % understood, 100 % I also feel with other people, but she even increases that.

She is my best friend concerning giving me the feeling to be fully understood.

I have the feeling she knows me very good and that she looks into my soul.

Do you have any idea what she does to give you that feeling?

She knows me. See looks through me. I do not have a mask when I am with her.