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Talking to others one on one can sometimes be difficult. Whether in a conversation with family, friends or acquaintances it is often hard to determine how to balance empathy and effectiveness when the need arises. In expressing empathy the first step is listening closely to what the person is saying, and finding the correct way to connect with their statements even if you disagree or become offended. Reacting is usually impulsive and is often easier than reflection and response actions. However, forethought is sometime necessary to convey sensitivity with strength and thoughtfulness. Sometimes with out advance warning it is not easy to immediately respond, and it is better to wait until you have time to reflect and decide how to appropriately respond. When barriers arise it is sometimes helpful to examine your feelings, ask for clarification, and focus on the issues that connect you with the other person. Remember, you can still maintain your integrity and be empathetic. Also, you don’t have to act aggressively to be heard and respected.