The “A Practical EmPath” system (PEP) by Scott Howard Swain is a concept that is closely related to Nonviolent Communication (NVC) by Marshall Rosenberg. It involves developing the ability to empathize with others in a practical and actionable way. The term was coined by Scott Howard Swain, a researcher and author who has written extensively on empathy and its role in building stronger relationships and promoting greater understanding.

Use syntax of the “A Practical EmPath” system (PEP) by Scott Howard Swain and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) by Marshall Rosenberg:

(a) Observation without evaluation, feelings, needs/values (needs are not nouns and verbs; “need for sandwich” is really “need for sustenance” and “I need you to defend me” would be like “I want more support”, and maybe using positive do-able requests.

(b) Leave out any form of “you make/made me feel”. People do not make us feel anything, as our feelings come from our met or unmet needs. We are responsible for our own feelings. That said, their words/actions may stimulate or trigger our feelings.

(c) We don’t apologize. Instead, we regret something and we may express our feelings and needs or, better, guess at the feelings and needs of the other person.

(d) Empathy is always a question. “As that was happening, were you annoyed because you value integrity?” or “Because you value safety, were you scared?”

(e) Instead of being defensive with responses like, “I didn’t mean to _____,” we empathize using the PEP/NVC model above. “When that happened, were you [feeling here] because you wanted more [need/value here]?”