A person is made up of many qualities that marks an individual identity. A few qualities are a must to inculcate to live a quality life. You must check if you have empathy to be a better human. Not to feel guilty about practicing empathy. Such good thought crossing your mind tells about your positivity.
There would be times that you wanted to show your empathy but couldn’t. Empathy doesn’t always come out as positive as you are. It needs practice to show out your positivity when people need it the most. If you are thinking that empathy has to be spontaneous and an inbuilt quality then know its not exactly that. It comes out of experiences, mistakes, emotions and your bundle of thoughts. Do you now agree then empathy needs practice to improve?
You have plenty of ways to practice empathy and show it to others but what you need is the will. If you are endless with the will and wish then look for these helpful ways that come your way to practice your empathy.
What is Empathy?
If you are good at understanding others feelings and emotions with an ability to imagine their condition is empathy. Not only learning their said and unsaid feelings or emotions but showing your through actions can be a practice of empathy.
In simple words, empathy is a connection with others. Making empathy a must to have quality can bring goodness in the air. Showing empathy for others can make you a mentally stronger person. It changes perspective towards life and lets you lead a happier life.
How empathy helps you lead the extreme level as a quality person?
At the end of the day, we all want to feel good but it comes from within. Empathy is a good quality for self though you are being to others. Empathy is an attribute quality from the feeling of gratitude. If you have gratitude towards life then you must be empathetic to someone. Keeping this point in mind, you can practice empathy.
How to improve empathy?
1. Understand different perspectives
You must be able to adopt different perspectives to improve your empathy. Sticking to your own perspectives can build up as a block between you and others. Develop a connection and open your mind to accept the perspectives. Also respect the opinions and views of others and to develop empathy from within.
2. Get into other shoes
It also helps you develop a connection and empathize with the person though you never experienced what they are going through. It doesn’t seem artificial or make it awkward when you are stepping on others shoes but you become a polite, kind helping hand.
3. Ask proactive questions
When someone is expressing their feelings or opinions, you must ask proactive questions. Just listening and answering is robotics but we are humans. We must understand the emotions and ask questions. A person in pain or fear may not express his/her heart out. They may also feel hesitant to express themselves. So, be proactive and ask better questions.
The questions give you the answers that help you find solutions for them. But be honest, genuine to be empathetic.
4. Allow others to speak
We may tend to interrupt out of curiosity or impulsiveness but this can distance the person from you. Your interruption can break them inside. When you interrupt someone who is talking out of pain or fear, then never come back again after that. Unknowingly, you are leaving a bitter experience for them and leaving a negative impression about self. So, let others speak to show your empathy.
5. Explore and experience new
Travelling and meeting new people can build empathy in you. Visiting new places, exploring different cultures and meeting new people are the helpful factors that develop empathy. It is because you respond to different kinds of people. And you will have to be polite, kind to new people, understand their thoughts and feelings. If you see, a passionate traveller is always more empathetic.
6. Get deep into the conversation
Deep conversations happen only between compatible and closely connected people. And also the talks can develop a closer bond with others where empathy naturally comes. Pretending empathy can save your relationship to some extent but genuine empathy is the need there.
So, when a person expresses their feelings and thoughts to you, get into a deep conversation to know the details.
7. Give practical advices
When you practice empathy, give right and practical advice. Rather than talking about the past, talk about the present. Don’t point out their mistakes which makes them feel helpless.
We must be careful when giving advice out of empathy. Remember to respect the person, explain things and have your answers when you are giving advice to someone. Only then you become successful at understanding others as you develop a rapport with a sequence.
8. Ask for their opinions
If someone is talking about the third person in your conversation, ask for their clear opinions. We become hasty in pain, fear or anger. If your friend, colleague or family member is talking about a third person, ask their clear opinions. It could be about a perplexed situation for someone where your empathy is needed. Then, you must ask their opinions before jumping to conclusions. This can assist them sort out their problem with clarity.
9. Be approachable
Approachability is about making people around you know that you are ready to listen, understand their feelings or opinions. You can show gestures, give them a word of help, non verbal signs. This can make them trust you and you become approachable.
10. Don’t multitask while talking
This is a common mistake most people make. You talk, indulge in your phone or manage your tasks while talking to others. This can hurt the person’s feelings who approached you. This says you are not ready to be all ears to listen to their concerns.
If you are delaying your work and tasks just to listen to the person then it shows you empathetic. Or you can make some time to meet up with them and have a quality conversation. But again don’t keep them waiting as it is not a good gesture of empathy at all.
11. Acknowledge others efforts
It could be when someone is venting out to you or expressing their helplessness for a situation. Letting them know that they made great efforts is your part when they do deserve it.
12. Test and know your biases
You must know your own biases to become a person with empathy. We all are partial to something or the other. You will have strong opinions on most of the things when you know your biases. This way you tend to judge less and help people more.
When you don’t know your own biases,you may feel awkwards when someone expresses something to you. And you end up escaping from the conversation or cutting it off.
Learn Empathy in simple 5 steps
1. Have patience
The one with no patience is the one with no empathy. Learn to have patience if you want to be empathetic towards someone. Were you ever tired of listening to your friends coming with the same issue to you? Of course, this happens with all of us but we must take a minute before reacting harshly which comes with patience.
We are asked to develop patience as we learn to wait. Being impulsive can crash your empathy though you have it in your heart. Having no patience can display your unintentional thoughts which can affect your relationship with the person. So, it is always important to have patience to wait, listen and only then speak out. This is how you practice empathy.
How to try it?
Never drive yourself to give away a solution or end the conversation like you are about to chase a train. Stay with the person and be polite, calm. Try to comfort the person first and make them feel secure. Then start a conversation asking questions, listening to them and follow with solutions. Sometimes, it’s just enough to listen with patience. And nothing but just listening can be a help too.
2. Stand up for others?
You develop empathy when you are ready to stand up for others. In fact, empathy follows with bravery sometimes. Take a stand when it is needed at the workplace, public places or among your friends. Defending or standing for others can keep empathy alive in you for sure and it keeps increasing as the bestest quality in you.
How to try?
Understand how you relate to the other person’s needs or problems. Make standing for others a moral value and empathy comes along with it.
3. Broad minded
We asked you to understand the different perspectives. But how is that so easy as said? You must be a broad minded person.Confining your mind to certain thoughts makes you a narrow minded person. This suppresses the quality empathy within you. Hence,you must always think and act with a broad mind.
How to try?
You can try to expand your thoughts to accept the reality, the flaws and mistakes, circumstances of others. Only then you are called a broad minded person whose mind is also filled with empathy.
4. Read more books
Do read books and indulge in the stories then you can improve your empathy with your good habit. Connect with the emotions and relationships of the characters from the stories. Not only that but you also have various books which mentioned life lessons. Learn the tips to improve your empathy by choosing the best books.
How to try?
Just reading the books won’t help you but implementing what you read helps. Post reading a book, you must think about it and relate to it and then motivate yourself to be what you read.
5. Believe in your thoughts
Unless you accept yourself, you can’t empathize others. The lack of self confidence shows off when someone looks out for empathy from you and reflects in your words. Further all you see is helplessness while someone needs your help. So, first learn to believe in yourself, your thoughts to learn empathy. Only then you can show your empathy and how filled you are with it.
How to try?
You must think for a while before giving out your thoughts, opinions on something. Regretting over words is common but correct yourself in the next conversation. As we mentioned before, new experiences can tell you a lot about empathy and how to help someone when they are in need.
Best tips for cultivating empathy
Trying to empathize but failing is very common. But don’t back step when you are noticing the barrier. Try it again following the tips that can help you be empathetic.
- Imagine yourself in the situation
- Try to make them smile
- Make others feel comfortable
- Encourage others and support them
- Focus on the best
- Recognize from facial expressions
- Give assurance on your action
- Give practical alternatives and suggestions
- Tell your experiences too
Most of the time, we are built with qualities that help others in possible ways. But we tend to skip these qualities or don’t pay attention to develop them deep. If you have a bit of empathy, then practice to become a complete empathetic person. You have the best ways that can show empathy when someone needs it the most. Your goodness pays off with the comeback as you gave it to others. And remember that “What you give always comes back” is true.