We all love to be surrounded by empathetic people. We feel they understand and listen to us. But do you know that research has proved that empathy is not a characteristic that some people possess and others don’t? In contrast, it can be cultivated by anybody. Empathetic people live happier, richer and lead more fulfilling lives.
What is Empathy?
In simple words, empathy refers to the ability to understand as well as share another individual’s feelings. You can connect deeply with another individual’s life when you become empathetic, thereby enabling you to be a better person and leading to meaningful and lasting relationships.
Empathy is different from sympathy because sympathy focuses on responding to experiences. Empathy goes one step ahead wherein you put yourself in the shoes of others
Why do you need to Develop Empathy?
Empathy is an integral part of human nature. Highly empathetic people are cherished and loved by everyone they meet as the human connection they establish can uplift other’s life, their emotional health along with their overall well-being.
In fact, as per the research, empathetic people become better managers, colleagues, friends and family members. On the other hand, less empathetic people may suffer from various personality disorders, such as narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.
Ways to Cultivate Empathy
Try the below-mentioned techniques to start your journey to become empathetic:
- Talk to new people: When you isolate yourself from others, it’s very easy to feel disconnected. Hence, take initiative and talk with someone who belongs to a different background. You will be amazed to know that people are friendly when you are open to listening truly.
- Be a good listener: After starting a conversation, the next thing to do is to open your ears. This is because while talking, you only speak regarding things that you already know. However, when you listen, you may learn new things and truly connect with others.
- Be prepared to change your mind: It may be hard to grow if you feel that you know everything about yourself as well as others. Instead, accept that there are several things in the world that you hardly know. This would open your mind to explore and results in more empathy.
- Practice meditation: Meditation makes your mind relax and allows it to expand. When it is relaxed and expanded, your real nature is more accessible. Then, values such as empathy and compassion naturally come to the surface.
- Do breathing exercises: In our lives, when stress accumulates, we tend to stuck in our old thought patterns. Therefore, different breathing exercises, like abdominal breathing and nostril breathing can calm the mind and reduce the stress that leads to more empathy and concentration.
- Focus on similarities instead of differences: Every one of us has certain biases because there are always ways to fit other persons in the specific box and make assumptions on the basis of cultural stigmas or stereotypes. Doing this prevents us from understanding the individuality and unique quality of others. Hence, focus on similarities to better understand them by empathising with them.
Remember: Cultivating Empathy is a skill
Initially, this practice may feel unwieldy.
But, that’s natural. Don’t worry. Since empathy is a skill, at first, you may feel difficulty in practicing it. But the more you do it, the more natural it will become and the less conscious thought it will demand.
Keep practicing it and the relationships and connections you will establish will be worth it.
7 thoughts on “How to Become More Empathetic”
Wonderfully explained. If Empathy is fairly and responsibly practiced by each one then our families, friend circles, partnerships, work places and society as a whole shall be a better and a peaceful place to live with. Looking forward to read more blogs which touch the depth of emotions, frames and secrets of Human Race.
Explained in a very nice way, after reading this feel more confident to talk with new people and if we do it in our daily life we can enjoy our vibes, understand our emotions.
Nicely explained in simple words. From now, I’ll practice empathy to improve the quality of my life.
Reading your article helped me a lot and I agree with you. But I still have some doubts, can you clarify for me? I’ll keep an eye out for your answers.
For my thesis, I consulted a lot of information, read your article made me feel a lot, benefited me a lot from it, thank you for your help. Thanks!
Thanks for the feedback! That’s an interesting point. I suppose there are many reasons, internal and external, why we do not accomplish all that we might. Regardless, I am thankful for the Lord’s grace in that. Thanks again!
Reading your article has greatly helped me, and I agree with you. But I still have some questions. Can you help me? I will pay attention to your answer. thank you.