Practicing Empathy Brings Us Closer to Others
Surely you have many material and emotional goals that you want to achieve. But while you are in the process, are you practicing empathy? Sometimes we live our daily lives too focused on our needs to even stop and see others. It is not bad to focus your attention on your goals, as long as you do not forget those who are around you.
Empathy is a skill that allows you to put yourself in the shoes of others. Maybe this doesn’t really sound important to you or you are not interested in seeing life through the eyes of those who live around you. Certainly you can have different goals and ideas, but this is no reason for you to forget about others. Furthermore, being empathetic gives you a chance to make yourself better understood and to understand the world around you with greater depth.
Listening is the foundation of empathy
Since empathy is based on putting yourself in another person’s shoes, the first thing you need is to know their perspective. One of the great problems we have is that when we converse, we tend to keep creating responses in our head ahead of time. Then comes the time when we do not even let the other person stop speaking because we have already “guessed” what they will say and give our opinion.
Empathy requires more patience. You have to take the time to listen to the other person. Really listening to everything they say and paying more attention. Then, when it is your turn to speak, take the time to really think about what you will say. It is an exercise that takes a bit of time because we are not used to it, but when you have mastered it, you will have made a big step.
Stop, observe, and ask questions
It is so easy to form an opinion about anything! We do it all the time without stopping to ask ourselves anything. Add to this habit the fact that we spend more time focused on our telephone or social networks and you will realize that we live in a world lacking in empathy. Why don’t you stop a minute to see what is around you? Have you looked at the people around you? Do you have any idea how they feel, what they dream of, or what they love?
Empathy requires you to take a moment, stop, and look at what’s happening around you. Observe the people who are by your side and those with whom you live. What do their attitudes tell you? Ask yourself what they are doing and analyze them. This will allow you to understand others without needing them to tell you openly what is going on inside their heads.
See situations from the other side
When you have an argument or simply do not agree with another person, the most common thing is to stick to your point of view. The next time this happens to you, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. It is not going to be easy the first few times, but practice will help you overcome this challenge. Ask yourself: what are the other person’s reasons? What do you think they may have felt or could be feeling? What fears or doubts are the foundation for the other person’s behavior?
You will see that little by little, these questions are going to help you understand the situations you experience. It is easier to go through life believing that our point of view is the right or the best one, but we must not forget that the other side also thinks that. Empathy will allow you to see that you do not have real enemies, just opposing ideas that can be reconciled with a bit of effort and discipline.
The importance of seeing a broader world
Empathy gives you the ability to see a more complete and complex world. Maybe now it does not seem very useful to you, but the fact of the matter is that we live surrounded by people. All your goals, dreams, and fears are based on your coexistence with others. For this reason, learning to see the world from the perspective of those around you will not only make you wiser, but it will allow you to achieve your goals more quickly.
When you are capable of understanding the people around you, you can haul them onto your ship and they will help you achieve your goals. At the same time, you can be the factor of change in their lives. The truth is that going through life as a lone will in search of your dreams is complicated, but going with people by your side will make the path easier.