In this article, we will try to understand what is empathy and what are the different benefits of empathy. Empathy is the capacity to look at a situation from another person’s perspective rather than your own. It is distinct from sympathy, which is a state of being influenced by another person’s thoughts and feelings while keeping one’s feelings in check. What is the distinction between sympathy and empathy?
Sympathy is the ability to perceive a person in a deep hole, but to remain on higher ground and speak to them from above. Instead of acknowledging the other person’s suffering, the sympathetic person may strive to see the bright side of things. Empathy, on the other hand, is the ability to empathize with a person, to feel for them, sit with them in the pit and be vulnerable enough to truly connect with them. Empaths don’t downplay the other person’s difficulties; they just acknowledge them.
Suppose you were relaxing at the weekend on the couch with a good book. Your phone rings. A dear friend is calling from a state of shock after being laid off from her work. You try to console her. You tell her that she was already aware that her company was having financial difficulties. She should have expected this. Besides, she’ll find another soon. Why is she so worked up right now? The other end of the phone is silent, and the call is dropped. You lacked empathy in your response.
What went wrong when you believed you were attempting to console her? You could have done more harm than good if you hadn’t first tried to understand her and listen to her worries.
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Why is empathy important?
Empathy is one of the most fundamental parts of building great relationships, lowering stress, and improving emotional awareness, yet it can be difficult to master at times. A competent personality development course also stresses the importance of empathy in their course sessions.
For example, how can you be sympathetic to somebody with whom you may not always agree?
I believe myself to be an empathic person, but I’ve noticed that my natural capacity to empathize can be limited or non-existent with some people and in specific situations.
However, most people are unaware of the numerous advantages of empathy. For example, when one feels empathy for others and myself, they have a sense of tranquility, connectedness, and perspective that they enjoy. And they often experience stress, detachment, and negativity when there is a lack of empathy in a relationship, circumstance, or in how they relate to themself.
What are the benefits of Empathy?
Humans are capable of self-centered and even cruel actions. A glance through any daily newspaper exposes a plethora of nasty, selfish, and horrific acts. So, why don’t we all engage in such self-serving behavior regularly? What makes us feel another person’s grief and respond with kindness?
As suggested by the best personality development trainer, there are several advantages to being able to feel empathy:
- Empathy permits people to form social bonds with one another. People can respond correctly in social circumstances if they comprehend what others are thinking and experiencing. Social relationships are vital for both physical and psychological well-being, according to research.
- Empathizing with others aids in the development of emotional self-control. Emotional regulation is crucial because it allows you to manage your emotions without being overwhelmed, even when you are under a lot of stress.
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- Empathy encourages people to help others. When you feel empathy for other people, not only are you more inclined to engage in helpful behaviors, but other people are also more likely to assist you.
- Another reason empathy is so important is that it is one of the most effective methods to improve our relationships, reduce stress, and feel good about ourselves and our life.
- It is also advantageous to your health. Being empathetic reduces stress and negativity which leads people to be in better shape with stronger immune systems.
- Empathy results in a happy existence. We are content with our life when we understand that we are not the only ones with tensions, worries, and problems. Every person has one or another challenge in life, be it a rich person or a poor one.
- Empathy enhances communication abilities. We become aware of others’ situations and consequently, we become careful will our choice of words while interacting with them. Thus it helps to be a better communicator with others.
- Empathy leads to collaboration. People who are empathetic towards a common cause, work in a better collaborative manner. The sense of empathy binds them towards the goal in a unified form.
- Having empathy establishes a safe working environment for all those working in it. People are emotionally aware of each other’s situations and hence act in a manner as to cause as little conflict or discomfort as possible to others.
- Empathy reduces negativity in the community. All empathetic people, being aware of other people’s feelings, act in a way that is free from any preconceived judgments and thus this collectively reduces negativity in the community.