Etiquette Contributes to
Fostering Fellow Feeling

Two Men Collaborating on a Project

Fellow feeling reaches further than the word empathy.  If you have empathy, you understand another’s feelings and situation.  If you have fellow feeling with someone, you understand the feelings, and you care for their well-being, including offering support and assistance as needed.

Fellow feeling sparks spirit and solidarity among individuals.  It exists when there is a sense of camaraderie, sympathy, or shared understanding with others. It involves recognizing and connecting with the emotions, experiences, and perspectives of those around us.  It is a powerful force that can promote unity, kindness, and solidarity among individuals or groups, leading to improved relationships and a greater sense of social cohesion.

Courtesy, Decency, and Grace

Being etiquette-ful by intentionally practicing good manners and appropriate and polite decorum can contribute to making fellow feeling more active by creating a positive and respectful environment in your interactions with others.

Have you ever noticed that when you want something, pathways emerge, goals develop, and voila…success!

  • How do you want to act with others?
  • What outcomes are you looking for from your interactions with other people?
  • What will the friendly, positive relationships you seek look like in your daily life?
  • How will you use courtesy, decency, and grace to navigate your relationships?

Fostering Fellow Feeling with Etiquette-fulness

To help answer the questions above, here are some ways that etiquette-fulness, or using courtesy, decency, and grace, can help you in relating to other people.

  • When you are considerate of the feelings and boundaries of others, you are demonstrating that you value and care about them, advancing the awareness of fellow feeling.
  • Showing that you understand the perspectives of others often means repeating what they have said and trying to put yourself in their shoes, thus emphasizing that your feelings line up in the same way, even with differences.
  • Choose true active listening, which involves not only what you hear, but what you don’t.   Listening for the sake of listening rather than listening to decide when to interject creates space for open dialogue.              
  • When you notice and express your gratitude and appreciation for the consideration others in a particular situation are showing, a sense of connection will reinforce fellow feeling.
  • If conflicts arise, your self-command will lean towards respectful interactions, prompting compromise and reconciliation and helping to avoid a greater divide.

As we are out and about in our days, remembering to be etiquette-ful will pay off in creating atmospheres of trust and reliability yielding stronger relationships and more connectedness.

“A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind.”
~ Alexander Pope

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