In today’s article you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to empathize with others.
Empathy is the ability to feel what others are feeling and is important for forming significant relationships and peaceful coexistence. Some people are born with the ability to empathize, while others struggle to relate to others.
However, if you have trouble putting yourself in other people’s shoes, there are some things you can do to increase your empathy. This article explains what empathy is and what actions you can take now to become more empathetic.
How To Empathize With Others:
1. Become aware of your own feelings.
In order to experience emotions with another person, you must have the ability to feel them yourself. Are you aware of your emotions? Do you know when you’re happy, sad, angry or scared? Do you allow these emotions to surface and express themselves?
Work on letting yourself feel more deeply if you’d rather suppress your emotions than let them become a part of your life.
Putting aside bad emotions is quite common. For example, it’s more enjoyable to watch TV or go to a bar than to sit and consider something sad that has happened.
However, ignoring feelings leads to distance and an absence of intimacy. How can you expect to experience someone else’s pain if you cannot express your own?
Allow yourself to feel your emotions every day. Instead of rushing to write off nasty emotions, take some time to reflect on them. Be angry and fearful, and deal with your emotions in healthy ways, such as writing down your thoughts or talking to a friend about how you are feeling.
2. Pay attention to what is alleged.
Listen to what the person is saying and pay attention to the intonation of their voice. Check for any little clues that reveal the person’s true feelings.
Perhaps her lips were trembling and her eyes were twinkling. Maybe more subtle-he’s at all times looking down or seems absent-minded. Step back from the situation and listen to the person’s story.
Put your prejudices aside and listen. If you remember a conflict, judge this person’s decisions, or experience something else that takes you out of the present, try switching back to listening mode.
3. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Have you ever read an interesting story that pulled you in so deeply that you lost track of time? For a couple of minutes, you are that character and understand precisely how it feels to see your father for the first time in ten years or to lose your love for somebody else.
Empathy in a person is not much different. When you listen to someone and really try to understand what they’re saying, you’ll reach a point where you start to feel what that person is going through. You will feel what it is like to be that person.
4. Don’t worry if you experience any discomfort.
Empathy can be tiring! It’s painful to absorb another person’s suffering, and interacting on such a deep level requires effort.
Perhaps this is why empathy decreases: it is easier to keep interactions light and under control. You cannot avoid human feelings if you want to be more compassionate. Know that they will affect you and you may feel differently as a result.
However, you’ll have a better knowledge of other people, which will serve as a basis for creating stronger bonds.
5. Show concern for others.
Ask questions that show you are caring. Make eye contact, lean in barely, and do not fidget to show you are paying attention. If necessary, nod, shake your head, or smile.
These are all examples of how to show empathy in the moment and earn the trust of individuals who express their emotions when talking to you. The speaker is more likely to close up and stop sharing secrets with you if you seem preoccupied, look away, or give any other sign that you are not listening or engaged.
Another technique for showing empathy is to open up. Being vulnerable like anyone else can help build mutual trust and connection. Let yourself relax and take part in the discussion.
6. Use your empathy to help others.
Empathy for others is a learning process, and it is vital to use what you have learned to guide your future actions. Maybe this means standing up for somebody who was often bullied because you understand them better now.
This can influence your behavior when you meet new people in the future, or how you feel about certain social or political issues. Let empathy guide your actions in the world.
7. Be willing to learn more about something you are not sure about.
Empathy is born from a willingness to learn more about other people and their lives. Notice what life is like for those who aren’t like you. Try to learn as much as you can on a number of topics each day. Here are some ideas to spark your interest:
Make it a point to travel more. When you visit a place you have never been before, try to spend some time with the locals and learn more about their way of life.
Talking to strangers. Instead of immersing yourself in a book on the bus, strike up a conversation with the person next to you.
Step outside your comfort zone. If you prefer hanging out with the same people and going to the same places over and over, mix things up and begin meeting new people. Try to broaden your horizons (1).
8. Develop empathy for people you do not like.
Work on changing how you feel, or at least getting to know people and organizations you do not like if you find places where your empathy is weak. Ask yourself why you feel disgust for somebody at any time.
Decide that rather than avoiding or ignoring the person, you’ll put yourself in their shoes. Find out what you can learn by empathizing with someone you do not like.
Remember that you can feel sympathy even if you do not reach an agreement. It’s possible to have empathy for somebody you do not like. And who knows, maybe if you open up more, you’ll find grounds for reconsidering your opinion of that person.
9. Be sure to ask about people’s feelings.
This is a fundamental method for generating everyday expressions of empathy. Ask others about their feelings more regularly and listen genuinely to their answers rather than assuming that talking about feelings is forbidden.
This is not to say that each conversation has to be deep, somber, or philosophical. On the other hand, listening to other people’s feelings can help you become more involved and see the person you are talking to.
The other side of the coin is being more honest when someone asks you how you feel. Why not tell the reality rather than answering “Great!” when you are really down? See what happens when you let your emotions out a little more than you hold them in.
10. Read more and watch fiction.
Reading lots of stories in the form of books, movies, and other forms of media can help you increase your empathy. According to research, reading literary fiction increases your ability to empathize in real life.
It encourages you to imagine what your life would be like if you were someone else. Laughing or crying moments can help you open up more emotionally with others.
11. Make an effort to empathize with someone you can trust.
If you are not sure whether you are empathetic or not, try practicing empathy with other people. Make sure the person knows you are working on it, so they will understand if you are not hitting the perfect note.
Ask the person to tell you how they feel, and then practice all the above methods to feel the same way they feel. Then express how you feel as a consequence of what he said.
Check to see if the emotions are the same. You may already have the ability to understand the person’s feelings if they express sorrow and you feel sad when they talk.
If your emotions do not match up, you may need to spend more time getting in touch with your own feelings and practicing recognizing other people’s emotions.
12. Think of empathy as sharing someone’s feelings.
Empathy is the ability to feel for other people. It requires going below the surface and feeling the same emotions as everybody else.
It’s easy to confuse empathy with sympathy, situations in which we feel sorry for somebody and act on those emotions in an try to help them. However, empathy goes beyond feeling sorry for somebody; it is sharing your experience with them.
Another way to consider empathy is through shared understanding, or the ability to empathize with other people.
The concept of stepping into someone’s shoes is a metaphor for empathy.
Compassion means sharing all feelings, not just negative feelings. Empathy is being aware of all the emotions and emotions of a person in order to understand how it feels to be that person.
13. Recognize your ability to empathize with people from all walks of life.
You haven’t got to share someone’s background to feel empathy for them. Since you have been there, it is not about sharing understandings.
In fact, even if you don’t have anything in common with someone, you can feel empathy for that person. Empathy is the ability to feel what another person is feeling, irrespective of what that experience is. It does not must be something you have experienced in the past.
That is, you can empathize with anyone.
Even if young people have never experienced it, they can empathize with older people in nursing homes. Even if he at all times has a place to live and food, a wealthy person can identify with the homeless. Someone sitting across the aisle might empathize with the stranger on the train.
In other words, empathy is not about speculating what someone’s life is like; it is about authentically experiencing what that person is experiencing on an emotional level.
14. Recognize that empathy for somebody doesn’t require you to agree with them.
In fact, you can feel empathy for somebody even if you utterly disagree with their views and do not really like them.
Even if you do not like someone, they’re still human and experience the same range of feelings as you. Even when it is hard, you can sympathize with that person’s grief and suffering as you would a loved one.
Perhaps developing the ability to empathize with someone we do not like is even more important. Empathy allows us to recognize one another as people who, no matter what, need love and compassion. This opens the door to a peaceful perspective.
15. Forget the golden rule “do to others as you want them to do to you.”
“Golden Rule (2)” doesn’t really apply when it comes to empathy because it doesn’t help you understand what it’s like to be someone else. Rather than imposing your own experiences and ideas, being empathic involves exposing yourself to someone else’s point of view, someone else’s “tastes.”
Think about how you’d like to be treated. This is the starting point for being kind and conscientious, but to be compassionate you need to go a step further.
It is a demanding task and can even be nasty. However, the more often you do it, the more you’ll understand the people around you.
16. Discover the importance of empathy.
Empathy improves the quality of personal and social life. This generates a shared sense of meaning and makes us feel more connected to those around us.
In addition, the ability of people to feel empathy for those who are unlike them generates significant social benefits. It helps people and communities overcome racism, homophobia, sexism, classism and other forms of discrimination.
It is the basis for social cooperation and mutual help. Where would we be if we did not have empathy?
You can increase your capacity for empathy by getting in touch with your empathy and making it an everyday precedence, and then seeing your life improve as a result.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article on how to empathize with others. I actually hope that its content has been of good help to you.