Empathy is the ability to understand how others are feeling and show compassion towards them. It is the ability to imagine what someone else’s life is like, to stand in their shoes and feel what they feel, from their point of view. When we do this, we are likely to respond with more tolerance and understanding. Connecting one human to another.
Empathy adds depth to love. When someone is empathic, rather than standing on the edge of the pit, trying to pull you out, it feels as though they climb down gently into the pit with you and you walk out together.
When we are empathetic, we allow a tender part of ourselves to be touched by another. We take the time to imagine their life, their experiences, what has made them the way they are. We pause and are vulnerable to our own feelings in that moment of contemplating the other person.
As we cultivate empathy, we become less judgemental, and feel more of our common humanity.
Empathy is one of the main ingredients of healthy relationships, it has been shown to make people better friends, colleagues, leaders and family members.
“Learning to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins. And it’s up to you to make that happen. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world.” – Barack Obama
Reference: Miller, C. C.