We all want to be understood. Amid challenge or crisis, we need to feel like our emotions are acknowledged and perceived by others. Empathy is “the ability to sincerely understand what other people feel, see things from their perspective, and imagine yourself in their place.” The importance of empathy in our lives can not be overemphasized. Visit our page “Empathy: an important life skill” for more detail on empathy.
The truth is that empathy is partly innate and partly learned which means everyone can increase his or her empathy. Therefore, here are ways to increase and strengthen our empathy according to experts.
Attempt challenging experiences that push you outside your usual range of familiarity. Learn a new skill, for example, such as a musical instrument, hobby, or new language. Develop a new expert competency. Doing things like this will humble you, and humility is a key empowering agent of empathy.
Be genuine about how you feel
When we’re willing to get genuine about how we truly feel and have the fortitude to be vulnerable about it with ourselves as well as other people, we can so regularly liberate ourselves from the negativity, projections, and decisions that mask what’s going on. When we’re in a conflict with someone else or dealing with someone or something that’s challenging for us, being able to admit, own, and express our fear, bitterness, sadness, anger, envy, or whatever other “negative” feelings we are experiencing, is one of the best ways for us to move past our defensiveness and genuinely address the deeper issues of the situation. Doing this permits us to get to empathy for ourselves, the other person or people involved, and even the circumstances of the conflict or challenge itself.
Enlarge your circle
Empathy, particularly for outsiders, begins with exposure to people who are different than us. Research has discovered that contact with people of different races increases our empathy toward them at a neurological level. So if you want to increase your empathy, enlarge your circle.
Learn to recognize facial expressions
A large piece of empathy is recognizing facial expressions, verbal signs like emotional words, and emotional contexts. Learning to identify emotional components in discussions can improve your empathic reaction. Learn how to interpret body language, observe faces, notice changes in the eyes, observe expressions alongside spoken language. Pay attention to all everything that makes us human.
Empower yourself with knowledge
To best see how you work and relate with others, you need to develop your knowledge and become as smart and wise as you can be. Take the time in your life to learn new things whether it’s studying a book on empathy or watching a fascinating documentary to widen your perspective on life. This will gradually sharpen your knowledge of your mind and allow you to implement the correct strategies to become a better, wiser person.
Frequently, the veracity of what others are saying is not the objective of communication. The objective is to be heard. So learn information from others for what it is for something to be heard, based on intention, not factual accuracy. Notice facial expressions because they correspond to intentions.
Explore the heart not just the head
Read writing that explores personal relationships and feelings. This has been appeared to improve empathy.
Imagine what It’s like to be in their shoes
While it can sometimes be difficult for us to understand someone else’s points of view or situation (because we may not concur with them, haven’t experienced what they’ve experienced), being able to imagine what it must be like for them is a basic part of empathy. This is not about condoning improper conduct or justifying other people’s actions. The more willing we are to put ourselves in other people’s shoes, the more compassion, understanding, and empathy we’ll be able to experience.
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