Wherever people are together and have to work together, empathy is a force that works like gravity to maintain order and cooperation. It is the mechanism that allows us to understand and relate to others and is a necessary precursor to intimacy, trust and belonging. And it is the feeling that makes it difficult to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others.
Empathic people experience more benefits in terms of happiness because being empathetic increases altruistic behavior. Kindness improves interpersonal relationships, happier people are aware of positive and negative emotions, both their own and those of others.
It is not necessary to be born with empathy, it is a skill that can be learned to improve interpersonal relationships. If you want to know how to improve them, you just have to keep reading, and put it into practice!
First key: really listen
If you really want to connect with what another person is saying and how they feel, you will have to recognize the emotion that they are trying to convey to you. To achieve this it is necessary that you get conscientiously into the conversation with the other person.
Put distractions aside and start listening to that person who is speaking to you, listen to their words, but also the emotion that they are feeling. Don’t just look at your own feelings, see how the person in front of you feels. Do it with the people you know and also with strangers. Look at their body language, their tone of voice, their energy …
Second key: share your feelings
Once you are able to recognize the emotions in another person, empathy will put you where you should be: in their shoes. Empathy is not feeling what you would feel in that situation, but in feeling exactly how the other person feels in that specific situation.
You need to open empathic connections because they are a two-way street. As long as you allow yourself to capture the emotion of another person, this will improve relationships. When you share your experiences, feelings and emotions with others, guilt, anxiety and shame … you will have more opportunities for others to identify with you.
By showing yourself vulnerable, you will make others empathize with you as well. You will be empathetic with others and you will give the opportunity for others to be with you, creating a balanced relationship.
Third key: alleviate someone’s suffering without being responsible for anything
Life can make us suffer, also when it is based on empathy towards others. You can feel sad for the victims of a natural disaster because we can put ourselves in their place, even if we are not going through the same thing. Feeling the pain of another person can enhance the feeling of belonging. When there is a feeling of belonging, there is an improvement in well-being .
When you have empathy for other people you can better know what they need at certain times. Empathy means that the emotion is adopted but not the situation that originated it. Normally when you feel empathy for another person, we are in a position to be able to help.
By being able to help you can feel some optimism and therefore do something about the emotional pain the other person may feel. When you feel the negative feelings of others, it is necessary to have internal strength to ease the pain instead of making it our own. This may mean comforting you, having a nice conversation, buying a small gift, making a donation for victims of natural disasters, etc.
The empathy has the magic to feel what others feel and this, we take action. An action to improve people’s feelings, to unite as a society and so that, among all, emotional well-being can improve.