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Showing Empathy

Isaac Mills
April 26, 2023
Read Time: 3 mins

Have you ever wondered why you don't get along with certain people? Have you thought about their backgrounds, where they are coming from, who they are, how they grew up, and what their makeup yes? Because we are all from different places, we do have different personalities, different thought processes, and choices that we make. Because we are different, we will sometimes understand each other at different levels, but only occasionally. For example, a quick story where I grew up, we went to boarding school, and for some reason, we learned to eat quickly because of the people around, so that became a habit for me generally; I eat reasonably quickly; however, understanding that I'm not in that situation anymore doesn't change the fact that I still eat quickly right because of how I've my programming for lack of a better term. And because of that, someone may not understand why I am the way I am, and even though this is a straightforward example, it goes deeper than that.


When we meet people or interact with friends, lovers, partners, etcetera, we forget the differences that we grew up in or the differences that make us who we are, so we are forced to expect the same from each other. Therefore, the idea of empathy is missing in our everyday life because we constantly replace that with sympathy, which is very different. 

When you empathetically engage with somebody, it is something more profound than just a level of knowledge of the person. You feel bad when you sympathize with somebody. You know something about the person hurting and struggling and that they're going to something. Most of the time, it deals with somebody's loss. Something painful has happened to somebody, and we sympathize with them because it hasn't happened to us. We don't know what it feels like at that moment. That is sympathy.


Empathy is a deeper level of emotional connection or engagement; It's more profound because it requires you to actively listen to what the person is saying, understand it, and validate it to let the person know that what they are going through is appropriate or what you're going through hurts and understand I get what you're going through. Empathy is putting on somebody else's shoes and walking in them; you are getting into the person's mindset, you are getting into the emotions, and into the psychological feeling of the moment. Empathy is essential because when we can empathetically understand our significant others or partners, it changes how we look at their responses or contributions or when they speak and what they speak of; we better understand who they are and where they are coming from.


So here are some ways that being empathetic improves our relationships.

  1. It improves communication in that relationship. Empathy is essential for effective communication because it allows us to  understand and acknowledge the other person's feelings and the other  person's point of view, which is very important. Suppose there are two people in a relationship. In that case, you must acknowledge and validate the point of view and feelings of each other so that once we listen empathetically, we can better understand and attend to our partner's needs and wants.
  2. It builds trust in a relationship. If both parties understand where each other is coming from, they know why they act and understand. Couples who are empathetic with each other are not surprised when something comes up because they see things from each other 's point of view. There's a demonstration that they care, and it's a way to show that you are committed to your partner's well-being.
  3. It enhanced  conflict resolution. When two people connect, there will be conflict at some point. You will sometimes have differing views on the same thing and have the same ideology. You have to understand that there will be conflict in relationships. We must eliminate the idea that there will always be agreement on every action. Take it out of your mind, wrapped up, and throw it in the trash because that will never happen. Conflict is not always destructive. It is an opportunity for you to resolve your differences and grow. Empathy can help de-escalate situations and conflicts because we see each other 's points of view.
  4. Empathy helps  us create a deeper and more emotional intimacy. When we are empathetic with each other, it allows one partner to get to a deeper level by sharing their joys, their sorrows, their struggles with the other partner, and then the other partner doesn't take that and makes it into a weapon but uses it to know how to appreciate the other partner's journey and commend the other person in the achievements to make the other person feel seen. This continues to impart their growth significantly and betters the union.
  5. Empathy also   promotes the overall satisfaction of the relationship. Empathy is a vital predictor of the size of joy we feel in our relationships. When we feel like our partners understand where we are coming from, they know what we mean and what we are saying. It fosters positive emotions, and these emotions show up in compassion, gratitude, and appreciation.

So, in conclusion, remember the golden rule that says to do unto others what we want others to do unto us", which is a significant rule of life. So when we want somebody to do unto us how we would do unto them, we have to know what they would prefer because only then do we know what we could do for them. So the only way to know what somebody desires and what somebody would like is to walk in their shoes to have the understanding to experience what they experience. Then through that, you can offer help, advice, and counsel coaching in every aspect of life, and they will be able to receive it and have the impact that they need for their lives.


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