Empathy is undoubtedly a skill, but do you know what it consists of? We also offer you some useful tips that will help you be more empathetic with others.
We can say that empathy is a basic skill that we find within interpersonal communication itself, since it gives us the possibility of maintaining a certainly solid understanding between two people.
It consists of the ability to put ourselves in the place of the other, and know what he feels, or even what he may be thinking at a certain moment. It helps us understand the feelings that other people have, which also makes it easier for us to know why they act in a certain way. It is especially useful when it comes to preventing conflicts.
It is undoubtedly a skill, since we put ourselves in the place of the other, and also that is how we let the other person know. For this reason there are people who are more or less empathetic, and who are not fully capable of understanding the emotion or the motives of the other.
Empathic people have a very special ability, since they are capable of capturing a huge amount of information about the other person from their words, the tone of their voice, their posture, and ultimately from all those elements related in a way. Direct with her non-verbal language. We can say, in fact, that they are people who can “read” others.
Not surprisingly, empathy helps our relationships with others to be more satisfying and rewarding, since when we are empathic the relationship tends to become deeper and more direct. In other words, we feel much more in tune with others.
The word empathy derives from the Greek word Empháteia, which means to feel affection within. Despite the fact that this term was already used at that time, it was not until the 18th century that an authentic etymological approximation of what we effectively understand today by empathy was carried out, starting from the term EinFülung, of German origin.
How can we be more empathetic?
As we indicated, we can understand empathy as the intuition of what happens and what happens to the other, without forgetting that one is oneself (otherwise we would find ourselves faced with an identification, rather than with empathy).
That is, empathy consists of being able to grasp both the internal references and the different emotional components of another person, and understand them as if one were this other person.
It is characterized by being one of the most valued qualities, especially in such a collective and social environment as is the society in which we develop our life every day, since it helps us to try to understand – and understand – what we are going through. The person, so that he feels less alone and more accompanied.
Regarding the differences between empathy and identification, it is very common for the psychologist to lose the limits between both conditions, so that the specialist can see himself reflected in the patient’s problems, thus losing all objectivity.
It is common for empathy to be lost when we tend to judge – even unconsciously – the person who is speaking to us. Obviously, your way of listening and responding to them changes significantly if you have previously been prejudiced or not.
You should work to gradually eliminate these prejudices, and listen to the person completely, without thinking about anything else. It will help you to understand it better, and to know what it is going through.
Remember that the first impression of a person, in most cases, is usually wrong. Therefore, it is vital to be able to always maintain an open and flexible mindset.
Don’t be in a hurry and respect the times
Sometimes we get impatient when we are talking to someone, either because it takes time to express itself or because it tends to extend itself a lot. Our answer? We interrupt his speech and try to anticipate what he is trying to tell us. Another key to being more empathetic is to be patient and respect the other person’s time.
Being silent we also respond empathically
Although through words we can express how empathetic we are with the other person, silences –and gestures- also have a lot to say, especially when they need to express themselves and just need to vent.