Do you often feel like you’re surrounded by thoughtless and self-centered people who don’t even listen to what you say and ignore your existence? We suppose it must be degrading and annoying for you.
“Empathy is the most precious human quality,” says Dalai Lama. It is indeed an essential feeling for humans, as it helps us to understand each other’s pleasure as well as pain.
What is empathy?
Empathy is when we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. It teaches us to care about others’ thoughts and emotions. When we think of empathy, the first thing that comes to our mind is that it helps us to feel others’ pain and struggles. However, we can also empathize joy and pleasure.
Can you guess how it would be like when we share each other’s happiness? Indeed, when we care about others and relate their happiness to ourselves, we become happier. Happiness usually emerges from our relationships. To give an example, when we think about a millionaire who doesn’t have any friends or family, it’s hard to say we feel jealous. As humans, we need to socialize to live happily; and sharing each other’s joy helps us reach our own happiness.
When we listen to our friends’ joy and pleasure, it also brings happiness into our life. As a result, empathy also helps us to have stronger relationships because when we pay attention to others, we make them feel precious and they return our care with their love. Eventually, it gives us the pleasure of being cared for and loved by others.
What should we do to foster our empathy?
According to Aristotle, people are social animals; they need social interaction and starve for the companionship of others as this is a part of their nature. This shows us the importance of empathy as we need this feeling for not only being cared but also caring for others.
- The best way to foster our empathy is to listen to others carefully. Paying attention to others may not be as easy as it seems. Most of the time, we end up focusing on our smartphones or magazines while someone is speaking with us, and at the end, we hurt that person without even realizing. Therefore, we need to learn to be a good listener if we want to be listened.
- Showing physical affection can be useful when you want to signal your friends that you care about them. For instance, holding your friend’s hand or hug them when they feel depressed can relieve their stress; yet of course, it is important to check if it’s appropriate for them.
- Maintaining eye contact with the person whom you speak is also beneficial if you want to make him or her feel cared and understood. How would you feel if people don’t seem interested in what you say and avoiding eye contact? We suppose you wouldn’t feel good. With a strong sense of empathy, you can strengthen your relationships by helping them to feel comfortable while they’re with you.
As Judith Orloff says, empathy has a healing power for humanity; it helps us get through the stressful and unfortunate events in life. We learn to respect, tolerate, and understand each other with the feeling of empathy. As a result, we give peace and happiness not only to our world but also on our own lives.
What are your opinions? Do you think you can enjoy from someone else’s joy? Let us know your ideas in the comment section as your thoughts may help someone else.