Last update: April 03, 2016
There are probably many material and emotional goals that you have set yourself to achieve. During the process, however, do you usually practice empathy? Sometimes we face everyday life so absorbed in our needs that we can't even see others. It is not wrong to direct all your efforts towards your goals, but only if you do not forget who you are around.
Empathy is the skill that allows you to put yourself in the shoes of others. There are those who are not interested in seeing life through another person's perspective; yet, even when our goals and ideas are different from those of others, we cannot forget about those around us. Being empathetic allows you to be better understood and understand the world around us more deeply.
Listening is the basis of empathy
Since empathy is based on identifying with another person, the first fundamental step is to know the other person's point of view. One of our greatest difficulties lies in the fact that when we dialogue, we tend to create the other's response in our mind, without giving him time to express himself: Let's "guess" immediately what he is going to say and give our opinion.
Empathy requires a lot more patience. Take the time to listen to the other person, listen to it really and carefully. Then when our turn comes, it is good to take all the time to think carefully about what will be said. It's an exercise that can take some time if you're not used to it, but once you learn it, we'll take a big step forward.
Stop, observe and ask
How easy it is to get an idea of everything! We do it all the time, without stopping to ask ourselves why. If you add to this habit the fact that we spend most of our time attached to the phone or social networks, it becomes clear how little empathy there is in our world. Why not stop for a moment and look at the things that surround us? Have we observed the people next to us? Do we have any idea what they feel, what they dream about or what they want?
Empathy requires a moment when you can stop and look around. Observe the people who live next to you. What do their attitudes tell you? Ask yourself what they are doing and analyze the answer. By doing so, you will learn to understand others without needing them to openly tell you what is on their mind.
Look at the situations from another point of view
When arguing or simply disagreeing with another person, it happens very often that you cling to your point of view. Next time this happens, put yourself in the other person's shoes. The first few times will not be easy, but with practice you will be able to overcome the challenge. Ask yourself: What are the other person's motives? What has he felt and what is he feeling now? What are the fears or doubts that guide his actions?
You will see how, little by little, these questions will help you understand the situations you are experiencing. It is easy to face life convinced that one's point of view is the most correct, but let's not forget that even those on the other side think in their own way. Empathy will help you understand that there are no real enemies, only opposing ideas that can be reconciled through a little effort and a little discipline.
The importance of seeing a wider world
Empathy allows you to see the world in all its complexity and wholeness. Even if it doesn't seem relevant to you right now, the truth is that we live surrounded by people. All your goals, your dreams and your fears are based on living with others. Therefore, learning to look at the world from the perspective of those around you will not simply make you wiser, but will allow you to reach your goals more quickly.
Once you have learned to understand the people next to you, you can get them into your boat and row together to the finish line. Likewise, you yourself can become the element of change in someone else's lives. Taking the path of life alone, looking for your dreams, is complicated: having someone by your side will make the path more bearable.