How to get along better with others thanks to empathy!
"How can you be so stupid / stubborn / small-minded?!" So often these thoughts cross our minds when we simply have a completely different opinion than our counterpart. But what exactly is behind the opinion or reaction of the other person?
... you wake up one morning and suddenly you can hear the thoughts of the other people around you. You suddenly realize that the woman at the bakery doesn't find you funny at all, even if she laughs. You hear frightening thoughts from people who are worried about their lives. You suddenly understand why the young man always sits on the same bench for so long in the evening; because he is afraid to go home, since his wife has recently left him.
It could happen to us in a similar way if we were to go through the world one hundred percent empathically. We would be able to put ourselves in the thoughts and feelings of others without any problem. The more empathic we are, the simpler and clearer the world becomes for us because we understand it better.
What is empathy?
Empathy is the ability to correctly interpret and empathize with the feelings of other people. If you have this ability, you can find your way around people better, and you know more quickly what to expect. You can adapt your reaction to your counterpart. Empathy helps you to solve conflicts, to improve your personal relationships and even has a positive effect on your economic success.
Actor Robin Williams, who made many people laugh in his movies and suffered from depression before his death, is reported to have once said, "Everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be nice - always." This phrase gets to the heart of what we often fail to keep in mind when we encounter problems with those around us in our daily lives. We need to keep in mind that there is always a reason why someone is reacting inappropriately / excessively / unfairly ...from our point of view and make an active effort to be empathetic.
You can practice empathy
Empathy is not your thing? Then I would like to tell you today: empathy can also be trained! Two things are helpful. First, focus on yourself. Think about the situations in your everyday life in which you find it difficult to understand the feelings and needs of others. How do you feel in these moments? And then take time to observe your fellow human beings thoroughly. Pay particular attention to non-verbal expressions, because they are a great aid to interpreting what is going on in the other person's mind. Over time, it will become easier for you to understand others and respond empathetically.