Empathy is the ability to understand and experience the feelings of another. It is a learnable skill that positively affects your relationships.
Here are six ways empathy plays an essential role in human interaction
- When you understand and share the feelings of others, it makes people feel good. Empathy helps you celebrate other’s success and enables you to provide emotional support in times of need. Compassion makes people feel validated and valued, healing past trauma in individuals, families, and communities.
Empathy dissolves conflicts.
Understanding the perspectives and emotions of others alleviates frustration, blame, and defensiveness, clearing the path for conscious negotiation and compromise.
Empathy improves communication.
- When you effectively interpret a person’s reaction to your words, you can tailor your message to be more persuasive and considerate. Plus, empathy fills in the gaps in people’s stories so you understand more fully and the other person feels more deeply heard.
Empathy fosters a sense of belonging by bonding people together.
- In contributing to these close relationships, you feel valued, and give value to others. Having common motivations and goals helps you thrive.
Empathy improves mental health.
- It helps individuals feel needed, heard, and supported, as well as reduces isolation and loneliness: all essential for emotional wellness.
Empathy promotes global understanding and peace.
Empathy helps you appreciate different cultures and perspectives, reducing prejudice and discrimination.
Empathy enhances relationships, improves communication, fosters compassion and belonging, and contributes to both personal and societal well-being.
Four Ways to improve your empathy:
- 1. Practice on something low-stakes. Watch a movie with a friend, and after, discuss the feelings and motives of some of the characters.
- 2. Use your imagination. Think of a scenario and imagine how going through that would make you feel.
- 3. Get inspired by kind people in your life. Observe the words and actions they use and notice how it makes those around them respond.
- T4. ake a step back. Step out of the chaos of your emotions so they don’t rule you, that larger perspective will help you understand others.
Empathy is a skill that can be cultivated and should be encouraged in all aspects of our lives.