Empathy is the ability and the art of understanding how others around you are feeling as opposed to filtering these feelings and emotions out. People who are skilled at empathy can better understand other people’s concerns as they make a conscious effort to put themselves in their shoes and situation. This comprehension of different perspectives and feelings is what makes empathic people different from others, and if these people use their empathic nature to change their actions for the better, then that can transform the entire environment around them.
The Act of Empathy
An empathic person is more selfless and strives to make the relationships around them better. They are more in tune with the different vibes going on around them and will connect to a person on a deeper level. While that connection is great, acting upon what you feel can help to change the condition of the other person.
A person can show empathy by having a great imagination and having an effective communication with the people around them. If you are, by nature, an empathic person, and if you happen to talk to someone who has previously gone through the same experience as you, then you can connect with them.
Empathy is not the same as Sympathy
Sympathy is feeling pity or sorry for a person having to go through something horrible. In these situations, we might say how sorry we are or offer them a little help, but later on forget about the situation completely. Empathy has nothing to do with pity or the state of feeling sorry. It is an act of feeling exactly how others might be feeling and to witness how other people perceive their world.
Acting upon your Empathic Nature
While it is good to feel, it is even better if you act upon your feelings. For instance, if you see a beggar on the street, and you find out that they have not eaten anything for a really long time, you can offer them some food to eat. This simple act will show that you are using your skill for the greater good instead of just thinking about a nice act. Another great example is an empathic person finding out that their friend is extremely stressed about an upcoming exam. If they were to act upon this information, they would make it a point to help the person out in their time of need.
Incorporating Action into Real Life
Having an emphatic nature is the best thing in the world. It is always good to be curious about other people and see things from their perspective. This way you can act upon your feelings in a more positive manner. For instance, if you see an old person, who can barely walk, trying to cross the street, then you should act upon the situation and help the person out. You can even try getting to know a beggar, for instance, and see what made them beg in the first place. This can allow you to help them out in a different manner as opposed to simply giving them money.
Having an empathic nature, and to act upon that empathy, allows us to cultivate better relationships around us, and in the process enjoy life a bit more. Since it is a selfless act, it does not involve any greed or selfishness. It also has the power to transform your life as well as the life of other people around you. This simple act can change the way you think and behave, and will encourage you to step outside of your own thoughts and feelings to be able to have a larger perspective on life.
Contributed by Rakesh Malhotra, Founder of Five Global Values (www.fiveglobalvalues.com) and Author of “Adventures of Tornado Kid, Whirling Back Home Towards Timeless Values”. Passionately determined to uncover the mystery of human behavior. His fascination with the influence of core values on human behavior stems from a career which has seen rise from an entry-level sales job to that of a seasoned CEO. Having worked, lived, or traveled to more than 40 countries, he has been able to study performance and human behavior across all cultures.
by Rakesh Malhotra @FiveValues