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We are not brought into this world knowing how to be empathetic to each other. Empathy is a skill that is learned as life goes on. We learn things such as “be kind to your elders.” The idea is giving empathy to elder people who are wiser.
“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” ~ Anonymous
We know to not cross the boundary and to be helpful. However, not everyone knows or even feels empathy towards certain topics or people. Maybe they find it hard to feel bad for the homeless guy on the corner. Perhaps it even causes some anger towards that population. The following reasons are the best ways to finally feel some inner peace.
1| More precisely predict other people’s behavior
Since Covid-19 arrived, everything seems to have changed. Especially the moods of everyone around us. The joy seems to be far and few in between. However, by being empathetic to the people you encounter during the day, your mind can spend more time focusing on the behaviors of those around you. Be the one that provides that smile for the day, even if you cannot see it.
2| Better equipped to deal with interpersonal feelings
We have never realized how much we rely emotionally on seeing someone’s mouth. What a simple thing. Eyes are the only way we can assess someone’s mood due to mandate of masks. While it is more difficult, being empathetic allows for you to separate yourself from your day.
Perhaps a cashier was being rude by glaring at you while you checked out. By taking that personally, you believe that she had it out for you. It bothers you throughout the day.
Now perhaps, you hear her sneezing into a paper towel as you walk away, and realized she probably just had to sneeze and was trying to not be rude. Giving her that benefit of the doubt for just a moment, allows you to move on with your day without interpersonal conflict.
3| More efficient at work
Everyone is stressed and overwhelmed, and everyone is dealing with it in their own ways. It is understandable if you see behavior that needs intervention, but giving empathy to your co-workers, customers, bosses, etc., allows your brain to focus on the job. By being empathetic, you create a neutral zone at work. You are there to work. This also makes going to work much easier. People respond better to individuals that are non-judgmental, making for a smoother workday.
4| A more powerful way to motivate others
By being empathetic to the people you encounter, it has a better reflection to the ones around you. We are by nature drawn to things that bring comfort. People trust you more which allows for more engagement, especially in the community. Famous baseball player Babe Ruth once said, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
5| Broadens the horizons
When we are bogged down with anxiety, we stop dreaming. Our brains have no time to relax and focus on the future. But if your empathetic to the reality now, your body and mind have a chance to categorize and process its thoughts in full, as opposed to keeping them bottled up.
By dreaming we keep ourselves motivated. Dr. Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, who teaches psychology at the Rush University in Chicago, studied dreaming and how it affects the mood. “It’s almost like having an internal therapist, because you associate through dreams to previous similar feelings, and you work through the emotion related to it so that it is reduced by morning.”
6| Overall better mental health
By mastering empathy, your emotions and moods remain more level throughout the day. This allows your mind to stay focused and less stressed. We become better partners, friends, and co-workers. By keeping the mind calm, our bodies and physical health, which are just as important, healthier too.