Empathy: The ability to understand the feelings of another.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo F. Buscaglia
Empathy is a trait we all have and isn’t exclusive to only us humans. Primates and domesticated animals such as cats and dogs also have moments where they show their inner compassion and empathy. This how we know that animals are lead with their emotions and us humans are no different. We’ve just learned to suppress our emotions because of the world we now live in. And this is not good…
The thing is, as humans we have got to get back to being more empathic towards one another. If we see a relative or someone that we are really close to visibly upset or you notice their body language is kinda off; it is easy for one to go and sympathize with them show our empathy towards them. But what about someone that we do not know?
What about that unfamiliar employee in the store walking around with her arms crossed and seemingly closed off from being approached because of the type of day she could be having? Or the person sitting on the curb by himself with his head is down and tail tucked between his legs trying to figure out where the time went and why his life turned out the way it has.
Sometimes just coming up to someone when they are down offering a conversation could just be that one thing that picks them back up. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes for once and become aware and sensitive to their feelings and you will be able to help them out way more than you realize. In a world full of anger, hate, and nitpicking at others; empathy can go along way in a persons life. Here are 5 ways we can connect with others through empathy…
Listening to someone when they are confiding in you can be one of the most effective ways to show someone that you actually care about what they have to say. Sometimes when we are trying to listen to others we become sidetracked very easily with other thoughts in our heads about what to say next or what our plans are for the rest of the day. Don’t get me wrong it can be hard to listen to someone ramble about their issues especially if we just met them. But really listen and take in what they are saying and try not to be so quick to respond. As we know most of us listen to respond instead of listening to understand and this can easily send someone a signal that you don’t generally care about what it is they are saying to you. As you are listening try to maintain eye contact but not too much some feel it is rude so if you must ask what they feel more comfortable with you can. After hearing them speak to try to repeat the last thing you heard so can gain a better understanding and be sure you don’t miss anything.
2.With Holding Judgment:
When someone is speaking to us about there problems or anything they have going on it’s best to not pass judgment right away. Listening to their perspective and making an effort to gain a deeper understanding of where they are coming from; can give you a chance to emphasize on many levels. Ask questions if you feel you need to better understand without passing judgment immediately on whether what they are saying and doing is wrong. If someone is being a bully and wrongly gossiping about others then you may step in and cut it out if you must. But the next time you find that you are making immediate judgments on someone try to override that judgment and look for ways you can empathize with that person in order to connect on a deeper level. Remember there is not a perfect person in this world and we all deserve a chance.
Now we all know how hard it is to open up to someone especially if we don’t know them. But empathy is a 2-way street. It’s about being vulnerable and exchanging an emotional connection. You don’t have to spill your life story but showing that you can relate on some level will make things easier for you both while communication. If the other person sees that you are open and willing to empathize the chances are they will reciprocate the feelings. To also help with this try to pay attention to your body language when engaging in conversation. Keep arms unfolded and try to maintain a decent amount of eye contact. Doing this can build trust and keep the other person honest and allows them to feel safe during the interaction.😊
Next time you connect with another person, let’s say your friends, family, or someone you just met. Instead of talking about normal things like the football game, the weather or what they had for dinner last night (which is still great ways to start a conversation) ask them what they are struggling with. What are they going through with their life right now that is really challenging them day to day? Ask them how does it feel to be in that type of position. Really listen and take that in. Try putting yourself in their shoes and experience what they are feeling emotionally. You may not be there to give them advice- sometimes people just need to vent and want to be heard and you may be the only person doing that for them. It can go a long way in changing someone’s day around. Maybe even their lives as they won’t feel the pressure in keeping it all locked in which is very unhealthy. So try and get curious. Ask questions. If you sense they really do not want to talk. that is fine. Smile, wish them well, let them have their space, and go on about your day.
When noticing that someone is really going through it, try your best to offer your help and make life easier for them. This act is such a great way to show empathy. It shows that you are willing to stop what you are doing to lend a hand without expecting anything in return. Things like buying food for someone you know haven’t eaten in a few days or pulling out the chair for your Queen when you’re out for a dinner date, even something as simple as holding the door open for someone else could help make that person day. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant. It is the smallest gestures that count the most. And keep in mind that the act of giving isn’t as important as the person receiving your help. When you give to others make sure it’s from the heart.💕💕
🌞Empathy in humanity has declined so much over the years. lets take our world back. Show your brother and sisters you care. remember you get what you give. But the act of giving isnt as importent as the person being helped #Blessings🌞🙏🏾