The Science Of Empathy

Empathy is defined as the capability to recognize, understand and be considerate to the emotions, feelings, and experiences of other people. Empathy is found in people who are “emotionally intelligent” or in touch and aware of their own emotions, allowing them the ability to become in tune with others. Chances are you have probably experienced empathy before, even without knowing it. Have you ever identified so personally with what someone is expressing emotionally, that it feels like you are experiencing those emotions firsthand? That is empathy. Yet empathy goes even further. Being truly empathetic is when you not only identify with the other person’s emotions, but also actually imagine how that person is impacted by those emotions. It is seeing the world through another person’s eyes, and understanding their distinct perspective.

Why Is Empathy Important?

What Affects One’s Ability to be Empathetic?

How To Increase Your Empathetic Side

Some people really struggle with getting in touch with their empathetic side. If this is you, perhaps you have thought you have no capacity to feel empathy. Or maybe you do feel empathy at time, like when you see a poverty stricken child on the television or experience a close friend who is grieving a loss. Either way, there is room for growth. For those who feel no empathy, the possibilities for growth are endless. For those who do experience empathy at times, the challenge is to experience empathy in situations where it does not come as naturally. But how do you increase your ability to be empathetic? Listed below are a few ways to begin expanding your capacity for empathy.

What Empathy Looks Like in Action

Are There Downsides To Empathy?

It is hard to imagine empathy being a bad thing, but there has been some conversation in the mental health field regarding the downsides of being an empathetic person. Granted these are just thoughts, and may apply only to those individuals who take empathy to the extreme, allowing it to inhibit their own well-being.

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