The word ’empathy’ is becoming more common, while empathy itself seems to be on the wane. But do you really understand what empathy is? If you don’t, how can you notice if you’re losing your empathic abilities?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, empathy is:
the power of mentally identifying oneself with (and so fully comprehending) a person or object of contemplation
Empathy is very different to sympathy
(watch this superb short video)
It’s the ability to:
- Take the perspective of another person
- Stay out of judgement
- Recognise emotion in others and communicate it
Empathy is a basic human capability which can be developed.
Empathy can also be lost
Here are a few ways you can keep your empathy muscle in trim:
- Do something for someone unexpectedly — without expectation of reward or recognition
- Express appreciation as often as you can
- Check in on how you listen — give others your full attention
- Notice how you relate to others — and whether you judge or ‘box’ them
Empathy is great for everyone in your life — and it’s great for you! Not only does empathy improve your wellbeing, but it also makes you a better communicator, negotiator, networker, and more.
If there is one secret of success it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view
Empathy is a win-win
Make sure you don’t lose yours.