What is empathy?
Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
Empathy is a gift.
When we act out of empathy and/or when we are the receiver of an empathetic gesture, it is such a warm feeling.
When you are displaying empathy, you do not think twice about it because it is who you are .
When you have empathy, true empathy , it comes from the soul and it is a blessing; a gift to others as well as to yourself.
On the flip side when another displays true empathy towards us it feels comforting because we feel seen, heard and cared about.
Even though that person may not be experiencing the same set of feelings and circumstances at that time, they are able to display empathy.
True empathy allows you to step outside of yourself, outside of the confines of your own ego to understand when someone else is in pain or need.
One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.
The other person may not ever say ‘hey I need help, I’m overwhelmed’ or ‘I’m depressed and feel alone’- yet a person with true empathy will be aware of this (or something of it to a degree) and say the right thing at the right time to let that person know that they are in fact, not alone.
It does not take much energy to send a quick test message these days, let’s be real.
An example of acting with empathy is when a coworker is not feeling well, so you do some of their workload so they can go home early.
This person did not tell you “hey can you help I don’t feel well” yet, you take it upon yourself to just do it.
You do this because you feel that it would help them so that they don’t have to worry.
Besides, you may be the one in need one day, right?
Good ju ju, good karma.
This is displaying empathy.
Empathy is when a friend or loved one is going through a rough time, and even though you don’t necessarily feel that you have the right thoughts or words to share, you drop off a card and some brownies at the front door because you want to acknowledge them and do something.
Again, this is empathy.
Yes it may feel awkward, yes it can feel that perhaps your words and/or gestures don’t help or change anything but believe me, it matters when someone is in need. In need of a hug, a kind word, a touch or a laugh.
Most times as humans we do not even know what it is that we need!
We just know that when we are acknowledged somehow it soothes the soul, even if temporarily and this is the gift of empathy.
Empathy is underrated in this world that we live in…so when you have people in your life that display this trait? Keep them close to you, because they are very very special.
During these chaotic times that we are living in, there are ways to emulate more empathy.
Act consciously, think things through.
Remain accountable for your thoughts, words and actions.
Do not let the need to be right all the time ruin important relationships.
Hash things out like adults, try and put the shoe on the other foot, look at where others are coming from…..there are two sides to every coin and sometimes three!
Be honest with yourself in regards to your own journey and ask yourself the tough questions.
Go inward, ask yourself why someone or something is sparking you, and where and if your own insecurities or projections have played a part in any misunderstandings.
Have you been making it all about you?
Assumption is not the way to go in life, it will serve to leave you in emotional tethers….and hey….if you don’t rock empathy you won’t care about any of this anyway 😉 .