How to Have More Empathy for Others with Payal Beri

As we experience so many shifts and changes in our lives and society, there is value in showing empathy for others. Although, not every easy built to be empathetic. In today’s episode, Payal Beri joins us to discuss how to have more empathy for ourselves and even others who don’t necessarily believe the same way we do.

This is Season 2 Episode 3 of Here’s the Tea with Akua

Here’s the Tea with Akua is a safe space to learn about hot topics, gain a new perspective and have a greater understanding of the people around us. You’ll hear amazing stories of everyday people like you and me. They’ll be spilling the tea and giving us an honest look into their lives. As we discuss topics such as race, relationships, mental health, and how to just figure out the thing called life, we’d love to have you subscribe on Apple PodcastSpotify, or your favorite podcast player!

Meet Payal Beri, founder of RK Empathy, and an Organizational Psychologist. For the past 15 years, Payal has worked in the human behavior field. First, as a clinical therapist working in non-profit settings servicing young adults, then finding her passion for empowering work cultures that put people first. 

For the past 8 years, she’s worked with Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing, Betterment, Groupon, and McDonald’s, to empower leaders to work through the lens of empathy to attract, empower and retain talented leaders who innovate, become invested in the company’s mission, and find purpose in the work they do. She now continues to support growth-scale start-up companies such as Blend Labs Inc, Betterment, and Avalara as a strategic leadership development partner.

Today, she’s a speaker, researcher, and rebel against complacency and conformity — championing leadership that cultivates people-first culture by leveraging empathy. She creates experiences that are transformative and thrive in today’s environment.

Important Parts of the Conversation:

Get to Know Payal (2:10)

Third Culture Kid (8:38)

Meeting People Where They’re At for Healthy Empathy (10:31)

Being Empathetic for Others, but Not Yourself (14:48)

Managing Expectations & Boundaries (19:00)

Having Empathy for Others (23:13)

Community & Culture in Leadership (29:17)

Having Empathy for Yourself (31:14)

Connect with Payal:

rkempathy.com

instagram.com/payalberi

linkedin.com/in/payalberi

How to have more empathy for others with Payal Beri

Review the Transcript:

Akua Konadu
Welcome to here’s the tea with akua. That’s me. And this is a place where we have candid conversations about various hot topics. Each week, you’ll be hearing some amazing stories of everyday people like you and me, there’ll be spilling the tea and giving us an honest look into their lives. I believe that our stories are powerful. And when shared, they can change not only our perspectives, but also our lives. No topic is off limits. So have a seat and get ready because we are going to be making uncomfortable conversations comfortable.

Akua Konadu
Hey, everyone, welcome back to the latest episode of here’s the Tea with Akua. And I have been looking forward to this episode for weeks because I think, especially right now, given in the time that we’re in, it’s I think this is something a super important conversation to have. And I’m hoping today after you listen that you’re going to be able to apply some of these skills to your own daily life. So today on the podcast, we are going to be talking about how to have more empathy for ourselves and others, especially people that are very different than us. So I’m really excited to have our guest today. Her name is Payal Beri, and I met her as you haven’t met her you also she’s like the podcast guests that I haven’t actually personally met. But I listened to one of her podcast episodes on the unapologetic women podcast, and I would highly suggest you all check it out. And I absolutely loved it just talking about empathy in a way that I had never heard before. So I absolutely wanted to have her come on the show. So I’m just so excited to have her. So hello Payal. Thank you for for being here.

Payal Beri
Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to talk to you. Yes,

Akua Konadu
I just Yeah, your episode was fantastic. And so I’m really, really excited to hear more about you your story and your perspective. And I know our audience is going to be just as equally excited. So share with us a little bit about who you are, how you’re showing up in the world like what you do.

Payal Beri
Yeah, I’m an organizational psychologist, which is someone who works on human behavior within the workplace and helps to make sure that it’s not toxic. It’s there’s, you know, engagement is high. Prior to that I was a former clinical therapist. And so I actually worked in nonprofits, I did clinical therapy. And so I’ve been in the human behavior space for the last 15 years plus, and it’s been incredible. And, you know, I’ve now I have my own company called our camp fi, which is where I help leaders and individuals really develop a culture of empathy in the workplace.

Akua Konadu
I feel like what you do is so critical like, like hearing about what you do, and like, especially in corporate settings and stuff like that, like, I mean, I’m an entrepreneur as well. So like, I don’t obviously work in the corporate space, but I did back in the day. And like, I think all of us at some point have either experienced some type of toxicity or I mean, it’s a really hard space to navigate in general. So the fact that you’re able to like, like business, number one, the fact that it’s businesses are hiring you to do that, like, they’re also starting to see a huge need for it, which is awesome, because I feel like just even like 10 years ago, that wouldn’t be a thing. So absolutely, yeah, I think that’s fantastic. So, share with us a little bit more about your story and your journey with everyone how you ended up doing what you’re doing, but just your experience with with empathy.

Payal Beri
Yeah. So, you know, I always say there’s, there’s two, there’s two pathways that I’ve really developed my passion for empathy and what I do now, and I think that it’s actually true of any person that whenever you ask them, like, what it like what career they’re in, or, and specifically, someone who’s really passionate about what they do, usually you can tie back to their personal life. And so mine isn’t any different. So, from a personal perspective, I grew up as a third culture kid. So that means that my ethnicity is I’m Indian, from, you know, my parents are from India. And but I grew up in the Middle East. So I grew up in Egypt, I grew up in Dubai, in Iraq, and Egypt was my most vivid memories. So that was like, you know, up until first grade, essentially. And then we moved to the States afterwards. And even in the States, I moved around a lot. I did second grade in Addison, Jersey, and Queens, New York, and Tampa, Florida. And then I did third grade in Australia. And then I did fourth grade onwards in California. But what that did was it really embedded this seed of, you know, really understanding culture from a very young age. I was, you know, just kind of like, taken and plopped into new spots. And every time you know, you had to really learn how to make friends. You have to learn how to engage with kids everywhere you have had to learn what was important in that specific culture and you’re a little dazed and confused, you’re like, wait a second, I just figured out that other one, what’s going on here now, but at the same time, from a very early age, I really understood that ultimately, you know, like kids are kids give them candy, they’re happy and let them play. Right? So it was under, it really kind of shaped this curiosity about human behavior. And it really, really embedded this interest in like, why, you know, people show up differently when we fundamentally can connect on the same basic emotions with each other. But yet, the way that we manifest them are so different. So that was a personal journey that I think naturally took me into the field of psychology. But then, you know, one of the things that really set me into the space of organizational psychology was that when I was a clinical therapist, and I worked in nonprofits, and I was, you know, what I was noticing was like this high turnover, tons of retention issues, toxicity in the workplace, right. And I was being feeling it too, on my end of like, just, you know, managers that really have no idea what it’s like to be a people manager, like, they’re great at delegating work. They’re not great at knowing how to work with people. And so, you know, to me, that became something very interesting to me, because it’s like, as much as we were doing mental health work. Externally, there was a lot of mental health stuff going on internally, morale, engagement, all of that. And so that led me into the world of organizational psychology, I started doing leadership development in the workplace, all of that. And one of the, the basic things that just everything kept coming back to is that when I was doing leadership development, was how do we put people in the shoes of others? How do we help them understand, and you can’t do it through talking, you can’t do it through just you know, sharing like a textbook version, if you know, idealistically, you’ve got to actually immerse them into that situation. And so I think that like my early childhood, my like life, really kind of shaped empathy as a core part of who I am, that it comes naturally to me. But then being able to take that and, and really making it simple for other people to also really understand that this isn’t something that’s like, either you have it naturally or you you never develop it, it’s like no, you can develop it, you just have to be open to it. So that’s kind of what just like led me into this path. And, you know, when I went into my own business, and we’re now I work with companies, that was the biggest thing, and that’s kind of where like, it really took me from a place of like, taking a piece of my clinical background, taking a piece of my leadership background. And actually, prior to all of that I was a dancer, so as a dancer as a choreographer. And so I took my background, I was an film major and undergrad. And so I took all of that and really shaped and created these experiences where now I take leaders through these like simulation, immersive experiences, there’s no PowerPoint decks in my world. You’re put through activities that are going to help shape and help you get to those aha moments that show you that fundamentally, at the end of the day, like you like if you can just learn to relate to each other’s emotions, you can understand empathy.

Akua Konadu
Yes, you shared so many, so many good points, first of all, so I know I did not know the term Third Culture kid. So yeah, like God is just new to me. So yeah, that is really cool.

Payal Beri
Yeah, it’s their culture. Kids are essentially you you belong to one ethnicity, but you never grew up in that country. Yeah, you grew up in a completely separate place. And then from there, you end up growing up in a third place. So it’s like, yeah, so Third Culture kids, like even if you think about, like, kids who are kids of like, you know, ambassadors of like countries and stuff in their constant round, right? Those would be like their culture, kids, because you never grow up in the country that your ethnicity is from?

Akua Konadu
Yeah. Oh, that’s so interesting. And also to like, really cool. And one thing that I love that you just said too, is that with empathy, which already made me start to think about it from a different perspective, because naturally, I think a lot of us will think of empathy. Of course, we know it’s like, put yourself in other people’s shoes, but you think that that just happens through conversation. And it really doesn’t, especially if the other person can’t receive it. And then like people in slight defensive just start to. Yeah, like, we think we can naturally do it. But it’s something that we can’t like, it really is truly a skill that you have to be able to hone and so what I love that you shared too, is that, like you said, you have to be open to it. So how, how do you navigate just trying to get people who like maybe isn’t open to having more empathy, like some people will say that like, I’m just not an empathetic person and do you view it as like either you have it or you don’t? And that’s not true. So how can we like open ourselves up a little bit more to being more empathetic, especially in regards to like, the current climate that we have, like, with 2020? Everything from social justice to the presidential election, like already, you know, with the overturn of Roe v. Wade, like, there are a lot of people that are hurting right now a lot of people that are very upset, and which, you know, it’s valid feelings are valid. So how can we, I guess, meet people where they’re at? Is what

Payal Beri
Yeah, I think you just hit on the nail right there, meet people where they’re at. So I always say that in order to have healthy empathy, and when I say healthy empathy is to be able to like, really understand the emotions of someone else be able to feel like, you know, how would you respond if you were in that person’s shoes, and all of that is that you first have to have compassion for yourself. So until you can really have that deeper self awareness, recognize who you are your values, your narrative. And, you know, even for example, that right now you and I are recording this podcast, and there’s going to be, let’s just say like, 500 1000, people are going to listen to this, right? Well, each one of those individuals is going to be listening to this from their perspective, and their narrative, their, how they grew up how their family unit was, how the cultural demographic around where they grew up live, is the media, like what type of media they consume. Media is a very powerful platform that really influences the way people think. And the way that our culture is essentially, like, really shaped. And so when you know, someone can really recognize that, okay, I really recognize my narrative. And I can also understand who I am in terms of my strengths and my weaknesses, my things that like are challenging to me, but not necessarily from a place where like, they’re uncomfortable that we’re being able to say I’m comfortable with it, the example I always use is that I’m not good at math, I suck at it, it’s just not something that I enjoy. And that’s why I have an accountant. And that’s why I have a bookkeeper because you don’t want me near your finances. And I’m very okay with that. Like, it’s not something that I need to necessarily improve. In order for me to go on with life. I know the basics, I have that down. But you know, or, I’m not great with like, necessarily super abstract things, right? So modern art can’t, can just kind of for the life of me, and that it’s okay with me. But I’m not going to push myself to get to know that. So I think that when you can get comfortable with knowing that you have weaknesses, and you’re comfortable with those weaknesses. And you recognize that you don’t have to develop each one of those like, you can look at the one that’s like, if I don’t develop this specific weakness, such as empathy, then this is going to hinder me from being good people manager, this is going to hinder me from having a strong personal relationship. This is going to hinder me from you know, being able to expand my thinking out of the box. Well, that is when you’re able to really, really okay, well, like I get me, I understand what ticks me off, I understand what makes me thrive, excited all of that, once you have that piece, then you can show up and start having empathy for someone else, because then you recognize that, okay, I understand that this is my narrative. But not everyone grows up the same way. Not everyone, you know, for example, someone who grew up in Kansas or Nebraska farmlands, while you have someone growing up in the urban city of New York, you know, you have two very different perspectives of what life is like. And you know, again, what you name it, you may have grown up in a homogenous community where everyone looks and talks like you, or you may have grown up grown up in a society where you are constantly surrounded by people that are very different from you. So when you are have a better understanding of that, then you can when you’re in a conversation like you and I are then, you know, instead of getting defensive, instead of personalizing it and be like, well, that’s not how I grew up. So I don’t believe you, you can actually start seeing and phrasing things like, wow, that’s interesting. You know, I’ve never experienced that for myself, can you help share with me your experience? Can you help Help Help me understand, you know, what that was like for you? And so, that is where I say that in order to be able to develop empathy, you need to first have compassion for yourself.

Akua Konadu
Yeah, I think that is huge, because I would have never thought that that in order to be more empathetic to others, you have to be like, kind to yourself.

Payal Beri
Yeah. And you know, a lot of times people also who are highly empathic, but they’re not kind to themselves will say like, but like, I am always doing something for everybody else, but like, I love that empathy, but I am empathetic, you know, and all of that. So like, why is that connected to compassion. And I say that I’m like, you may be empathetic, but I can guarantee that you were probably raised a first of all, it’s going to come more from women than they’ll ever come from a man’s, you know, mouth to say that. Second is that, I can guarantee that more than likely you were raised to as a woman that you are supposed to give, you’re supposed to always make room for somebody else, that you should be a good host that you know, all these shoulds that are put onto a woman, right, the TV shows that we watched, right, it’s all about catering to somebody else. You know, a woman is a natural mother, a mother is someone who’s sacrificing all of these things. These are all things that are ingrained in you from like a child. So you always feel guilty about taking care of yourself. So what happens is that you think that like, Yeah, but I love being there for others. And that’s fantastic. But I can guarantee also, that you’re burning out, you’re feeling resentment, at some point, you’re displacing that emotional baggage that you’re taking on from somebody else, because you haven’t even had the moment to process your own. And now you’re getting frustrated and displacing it onto somebody else. Or you’re hibernating, and you’re just avoiding the world because you’re like, I can’t take on anymore. But I can’t say that I can’t take on anymore. And so I’m just going to hibernate away. So you start then having, you know, types of self care, that’s actually more dysfunctional than it is healthy. So that’s where I say that, yeah, you may be empathetic, but you’re not healthy, empathetic.

Akua Konadu
My mind is blown, because that is totally like, 110%, like, I do consider myself like a very empathetic person, all that type of stuff, but, and I was literally just about to ask that. And then you answered it, I’m like, can people who are empathetic eventually kind of get resentful, because also too, I feel like, if you are a very empathetic person, you eventually will have the expectation of other people that they are equally as empathetic as you are not may not be the case. And so instantly get pissed or like, just

Payal Beri
right, and that’s that rotation thing, right. And so, for someone who is highly empathic, it’s really it again, important to remember that they are on their journey, they are, you know, looking at it from a place of like, if someone is really being bitter, or like being just rude and entitled, right? It’s like, okay, well, are they entitled, because that’s all if down, they’ve just been served their entire life, they have no clue what it is like to be anything else. And so I always say that there’s two ways to work with that. One is to get pissed and to get irritated with them and be like, How dare you write without the fact that recognize them? Like, they don’t even they’re not even aware about how entitled they’re being? Right. And then the second part is working with them, based off of where they are. So recognizing that, like, you know, you can’t tell someone who has had zero awareness about themselves, and suddenly expect them to be 100% aware, right, it’s going to take time. So even the way that you say something to that person, it may not register on the first go the second go, third go. And so then it also comes down to you to realize the like, okay, is this somebody that I have to interact with? Like, they are in my team in my, you know, like, I work with them every day. So like, this is someone that I have to figure out how to be around? Or is it someone who’s like a friends, friends friend, where you can be like, yeah, no, I’m good. I don’t need to be around that. Right. So you can set boundaries, and you know, help yourself understand, like, what is acceptable and what’s not acceptable? Yeah, I

Akua Konadu
think that’s so good. And even, that’s just what I was going to ask you. How can we manage some of our expectations and boundaries with that? And I think you answered that. So one

Payal Beri
thing? Well, one of the things though, to answer that, even deeper, is that I think it’s really important for each person, again, with empathy, or who’s trying to build empathy is to recognize that like to like, exactly to what you said that like, you know, the way that you operate isn’t necessarily the way that someone else operates. And so to expect that of them, you’re essentially expecting everyone to do what you do. And then that is also being entitled, right? And that is also being to some degree, unaware of the fact that people are going to be coming from different perspectives, different narratives, different experiences. And so your way is not the right way. It’s one way and so when we can put ourselves also in uncomfortable situations, and have those uncomfortable conversations that allows you to like again, going into it not from a place of I’m going to teach this person, but going into it from a place of I’m going to like help understand this person, right So when we can do that as well and not put our project our expectations on them, you know, then that can really make a difference. So for example, you know, I actually just, just over the weekend, actually, this happened, I have a good friend of mine, and she is punctual. She’s always on time. She’s very, like, everything’s always planned. She’s a hyper planner. And the person that she’s currently dating is not is poor time management, you know, very aloof, very, like, Yeah, I’ll get to it when I get to a kind of a thing. And so, you know, she has now started to understand that she cannot expect, you know, even though she has set the expectation that this is a value that’s important to me, that, you know, this person is going to start trying to learn and get better at it still really not putting your expectations at, you know, you can’t say at once and expect someone who has never been able to manage time well, to go from zero to 100. So what you can do is set your expectations knowing that if I say that I if I know if I want this person to be there three o’clock, I say to them, I want you to be there. One, they’ll show up at three, you know, like, it’s like, set your expectations to a place that’s realistic, versus projecting it onto that person. Like I would do this. So why can’t they do it?

Akua Konadu
Yes, I feel like this episode is doing just like such a good gut check. Because it really truly is a reminder that empathy is more about you and not the other person. You are not there to prove a point. You’re not there. Miko, then yeah, it’s ego. You it’s a very humbling experience. Like, yeah, you are coming in, from a space willing to receive no matter whatever the answer is, you know what I mean? And I, and even though like I do, consider myself an empathetic person, I still have work to do just even listening to this because I do in other areas of my life, I feel like okay, like, if you can’t, like how can you not do this? Right? Like, right? I assume that it’s very easy for us to assume, especially when we are comfortable, especially even in our rights, especially as adults, right? Like, kids were placed in certain environments, because we have to be there. But then as adults, we just naturally kind of just get very comfortable with our friends, and you know, our space and all of these types of things. That so you don’t realize exactly just how comfortable you’re being so that when it comes to like daily life things and you meet somebody that is not the same, it’s really easy to instantly just assume like, yeah, you are the way that I am. So I don’t get why you can’t do these things. Exactly. Yeah, I think it’s, yeah, this is very humbling to just hearing this. Like, I feel like empathy is a humbling experience, you have to let down your walls be willing to receive no matter what it is, and meet the person where they’re at. Yeah, is that is that that’s just so good. And so I think to the point of, I think, like you said on your podcast, too. So I listened to that is that empathy has kind of gone from a soft skill to or critical skill, which I think you’ve already, like, showcase so many great reasons as to why. And so what are some more of your thoughts on that of just like how critical it is to have empathy for others and ourselves?

Payal Beri
Yeah, I’ll even share some statistics around it that have shown especially now like the next generation Gen Z, of individuals who are coming to the workplace, and you know, showing up and everything, they’ve actually shown that like 80% of them 80, or 82% of them would prefer to work for an empathic and emotionally intelligent leader, versus having, I’m taking a pay cut, essentially. And so a lot of them will. And they’re actually openly saying that in interviews now to like, they’re being very direct and saying that, like, I need to work for a culture where there’s mission driven, where there’s social impact happening, where there’s some form of like, whether it’s like, you know, green climate, or sustainability or homeless or whatever it may be that their purpose is that they need to know that the culture isn’t just driven by bottom line money, and that there is some kind of benefit that the world is reaping from, and they are really interested in having someone who has who’s highly empathic, and if you’re not, they have no problem quitting and leaving you. So cultures are really having to develop that. And then the other piece is that, as we noticed in COVID, right, like in the pandemic for two years, where a lot of people were, you know, really struggling with mental health, they were struggling with, you know, being a caregiver, there was a lot going on internally at home being isolated. So a lot of organizations and companies again, you know, started to really value mental health, they started to value and now start including that in their benefits. They have started to really understand that like, you know, for example, you know, just one other thing is like, in the it was proven that 78% of women of color who stayed with a car be and where companies were able to retain their talent was because their leaders were highly empathic. That was a stats that came out of the last two years. So, you know, when you look at that, and you look at like, Okay, well, it costs your company about

Payal Beri
$50,000 to hire one person, like just the cost of like, like interviewing, onboarding, all of that, right? It’s $50,000, it typically like does run you closer to like, three $4 million, like, just for like a few people. So now, if you’re having people leaving your company, because of the toxicity of the workplace, and because, you know, people managers aren’t actually empathetic, then your app, your company’s actually losing about 300% of what they are putting in to hire people. So that just shows right there that, you know, it’s it’s like in the data that empathy is super critical. And what’s happened is that, as the generations have gone down, so if we think about like, the baby boomers, right, and you think about when the Industrial Revolution first happened? Well, it was factory line workers that that was what was your building, you know, it was wrote railroad trains, it was factories, your blue collar workers, it was very much like do as you say, and just keep going, well, then work started becoming a little bit more sophisticated. And, you know, they started having different roles, and you’ve got your gen xers who came and, you know, they are people who are also still very much like, just, you know, do as corporate says, and just keep going, millennials were the first generation to actually shift the conversation. And we’re like, No, we’re not going to just take this, we’re going to hop around until we find a place that fits for us. And so that was the first time organizations and corporate was like, oh, gosh, like, we need to cater to them versus them catering to us anymore. So that’s where you started to see a shift in culture, starting to recognize like, we really do need to be purpose driven, and have meaning in this. And Gen Z has taken it to a whole other level. And really, because baby boomer generation, everyone, they didn’t care about the environment. And so now we’re in such a sensitive place with our planet, that we’ve almost put the weight of the responsibility on this younger generation. And so when you’re making decisions with empathy, especially in the business workplace, and as a leader, what you’re doing is you’re creating a space where you can have individuals come to you with ideas, and you’re not shunning them for just because they may be like three tears down from you from the height in the hierarchy, right. And so you’re creating a space of like trust, you’re creating a space of openness and transparency. And so when they see that, then you are going to be able to have somebody come to you and say, Hey, by the way, you know, just want to know that I think your initiative is great, and your vision is awesome. But there’s one issue and I think this issue could cost us $30,000 or $300,000, whatever it is, and, you know, instead of that person who’s living and working out of fear, who won’t speak up, and then guess what, you end up losing some money, right. So it’s really that critical piece of empathy is really coming from a place of it actually makes a big difference in your profit, it makes a big difference in the type of people who’s going to come work for you, is going to make a difference in the way that your people are going to engage in the workplace. And it’s going to make a difference in the way that you’re innovating and staying ahead of the curve.

Akua Konadu
That’s so good. I mean, it’s just, to your point, just it ranges from everywhere from personal life to just even corporations and even how the world is going to change. And yeah, like I literally do as a millennial, myself, I admire Gen Z, I love Gen Z so much. Because I’m like, they’re truly the ones that are gonna save us.

Payal Beri
Yeah, hopefully, give away like, that’s

Akua Konadu
truly I mean, that looks, there might be like, some Gen Z listeners that are like, Oh my gosh, but you know what I mean? Like, it’s so true, though. And I mean, like, the more empathic we are, it really like benefits everybody as as a collective. And I think, you know, we are such an individual individualistic society where everything’s consistently about us. But it’s like when we think about others, and include them in the conversation, we get way further ahead than we ever would, individually.

Payal Beri
Well, you know, if you look at some Eastern cultures, and you look at ancient practices, that’s where community has played such a big role. And even now, you know, when you look at nonprofit organizations, when you look at community builders, right, like Obama started as a community planner, and a community builder and it’s like, because you learn some core skills about how to engage people in different conversations, how to challenge yourself, to think about things differently from your perspective, as well and what that can really build and, you know, like, it really is, it takes a village right to to grow and raise a baby. So it’s the same idea that it takes It’s a community to really shift the way that we look at each other. And, you know, I agree, like, I think that Western society, and specifically America has become very much of like, what’s in it for me? And when you have this what’s in it for me at concept, then, you know, it does kind of bring up less of the interest in, how are we going to save our society? And it becomes more interesting in like, well, I’m okay. So I don’t really care about what else is happening out there. And that is a form of privilege.

Akua Konadu
Yes, it is. Because I feel like with so many issues right now going on in our country, like major things that are heavily like, like in the media right now, people are like, it’s truly like, no progress is being made in certain areas, because it has defected the right people, right, like the right people, which I hate that like, and so I think that’s just to your point, like just such good, valid points. And then I had this question that popped in my head that I wanted to ask earlier, but forgot, but now it just came back. Just how can we You had mentioned earlier that, yes, empathy starts with compassion for ourselves. But how can we have more empathy for ourselves? Because you don’t hear that a lot? You don’t hear that a lot? I don’t feel like that’s talked a lot. Of course, having it for others. But how can we have it for ourselves?

Payal Beri
Yeah, so I think when I say compassion for self, it’s essentially empathy for selves, the same concept. having empathy for yourself is having compassion for yourself. So it’s being kind to yourself, right? It’s recognizing that, you know, tapping more into one of the things that I find really interesting and funny at the same time, is that the way that our bodies are right, our minds are meant to be still and to be able to process and think and our bodies, our physical bodies are meant to be running and moving and doing things. We’ve flipped it in our corporate environment where we’re sitting all day, and our brains are racing. So we’ve flipped the conversation that’s happening within ourselves. And so we’ve become so much in our heads, that we’re not paying attention to what’s happening in our bodies. So when we can actually start to like pause, and start to pay attention to like, My chest feels really tight, I feel really nauseous in my stomach. And it’s not related to anything that I’ve eaten, you know, I have, maybe I’m having a stress, headache, and having migraines, all of these things. Well, are you starting to consistently have those around a certain period of time? Are you noticing that every time you are coming around performance reviews, you’re coming around holidays and having to be around family, suddenly you’ve got migraines happening, you know, whatever it is, right, like paying attention to that, because your body actually knows your emotions, way longer before it sends the message to your brain. So if you can actually be in your body and start to pause and recognize, like, okay, something’s feeling like I can feel anxious and feeling kind of queasy. Where’s this coming from, you know, and it means means that, like, I need to give myself some time, give yourself like, an evening to yourself, turn your phone off, you know, completely shift away, and do something that doesn’t require that isn’t related to your work that isn’t related to your family, that isn’t related to anything, but it’s something that brings you joy. And I think that is really important is that when you can actually engage in something that brings you joy, you’re going to help your nervous system relax. So whether that is going for a dance class, whether that is going for a comedy show, whether that is reading a book at home, or going for a walk, you know, again, grounding yourself by walking on grass, barefoot, and letting that mud and that dirt touch your feet, because we’re made of this earth. And so allowing yourself to be part of that, again, you know, doing some grounding rituals for yourself and allowing yourself to, like have time, that’s nourishing for you. Because unless you nourish yourself, you’re running on empty. And that’s where again, you can get into this toxicity place of empathy, right? So. So having compassion for yourself, having empathy for yourself, is recognizing that a, it is not your responsibility to take care of everyone out there. Your responsibility is to be a good human is to have kindness. And if you’re not having kindness for yourself, and you’re not giving yourself that time to Zen out, or to just have a solo day, or whatever it may be for yourself, then, you know, you’re only putting yourself at a disadvantage, and it actually does have medical ailments that will show up because if you’re not taking care of yourself, even though it may not be necessarily actual health illnesses, but it can like chronic health issues have proven to be related to emotional suppression. And so the more that you actually heal your emotional, internal self, the more that you’re able to actually like release some of these like chronic toxicities and illnesses or do psychosomatic, that show up especially in like American culture, because immigrants are willing to, you know, deal with mental health because it’s stigma, or because you’ve been trained to just put everything under the rug, you don’t talk about things at home. And so when you don’t allow yourself to really process emotions, then it’s going to show up in negative ways. And so that’s how you can have empathy for yourself.

Akua Konadu
I love that that is phenomenal. And it just really goes to show that empathy is a form of self care. Absolutely, absolutely. Which I never thought of it that way. I mean, truly, like, really taking that time for yourself to experience joy process, whatever it is that you’re feeling, not suppressing your emotions, because the thing is, emotions are not bad. They’re neither good or bad. They’re just there to allow yourself to process and feel in order to move forward in a healthy manner. And so yeah, this is episode has been so amazing has been so insightful. And thank you so much for coming on. So pile where can people find you and connect with you?

Payal Beri
Thank you. I mean, this has been such a fun conversation. I so appreciate it. Yeah, I mean, I’m on LinkedIn, you can find me on LinkedIn, I’m on Instagram. And of course, you can always go to my website, RK empathy.com. If you’re interested in any of the

Akua Konadu
services, yes. Oh, thank you. Thank you so much, y’all. And I hope after listening to this episode, that it really just sparks some thinking, you know, some really great conversations for you to have with the people that are closest to you, or people that you work with whatever, of how can you meet people where they’re at, no matter what their views are, or whatever. I think that’s something that we all can really work on together. So I hope that today after after today’s episode that you just feel really encouraged and inspired to go forward and just show up to be a better kind of amazing human. So yes, thank you again,

Payal Beri
piles. So yeah,

Akua Konadu
thank you so much. Yeah, of course. And thank you so much, everybody for listening. And until next time. Thank you so much for tuning into here’s the tea with a cooler. If you are loving the podcast, I’d be so honored if you’d go ahead and hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast player and leave a review. This helps grow the podcast so more people can be impacted by the story shared by powerful guests like in today’s episode. Until next time, go make uncomfortable conversations a little more comfortable.

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