Empathy is nothing but the individual’s ability to understand and feel others persons feelings and thoughts. Empathy can be simply said as an individual standing and feeling from the other person’s shoe. Empathy is the emotional understanding of other people’s feelings, viewing things from another person’s perspective. It is also putting yourself in another person’s position, imagining, and feeling from other personal situations. Empathy is one of the essential life skills in which each and every individual should have.
Abilities of Empathetic person:
Individuals with good empathetic skills are active listeners
Good at understanding other’s feelings
Empathetic persons have good insight into other’s problems
An empathetic person can take a clear decision for other person problems
Individuals usually prefer and take the advice of empathetic person
Types of Empathy:
Affective empathy: This kind of empathy is the individual’s ability to feel and attach to other people’s emotions. Affective empathy is probably a moving part as they attach emotionally to another person’s problems.
Somatic empathy: Somatic empathy is the individual’s ability to feel or attach to another person through physical reaction. Some individuals establish physical reaction in their body while placing themselves in other person’s situation.
Cognitive empathy: Cognitive empathy is the person’s ability to recognize and understand another person’s mental state. This type of empathy is an individual’s ability to understand other persons thinking pattern.
Sympathy versus Empathy
Sympathy is not a life skill whereas, empathy is a life skill
Sympathy is feeling pity for another person’s problem or situation whereas, empathy is feeling from the other person’s shoe
Sympathy is expressed or overt behaviour whereas, empathy is inbuilt behaviour
A sympathetic individual don’t take other problems to find out solutions unlike empathetic individual’s
Sympathy can be found in the majority of the individual, but empathy can be found only in a few people
Example 1: Activity of Empathy
[This activity can be performed in group settings]
Imagine you were in a group consisting of 10 members. The group of 10 members were paired. Thus there are 5 pairs. There was a mentor to do these pairing. The mentor intimated the participants to take a piece of paper and a pen. You were sitting with your pair. The mentor asks the participants to write a few activities or any action that the other needs to perform in the pair. He also stressed that the written activities need to be exchanged with each other in the pair. The individual in pair wrote activities for their partners like dancing in front of all, singing, etc. The mentor asked the individuals to exchange the paper and gave 5 minutes for the preparation. All the individuals felt disgusted to perform the activity mentioned by the partner. After, 5 minutes the mentor asked the participants to perform the activities written by them for others. All felt embarrassed as they wrote entertaining and challenging activities. Only some were showed interest to perform as that was simple and easier. Thus, the mentor explained that no others had felt or thought of your pair’s feeling despite some individuals. The activity which is funny to perform by you will be the same for others. If you had empathy when allotting the activity for your pair, you would have thought of their mentality of performing the activity. The mentor concluded that empathy is a deep understanding of other person standing from their point of view.
Example 2: Activity of empathy
[This activity can be performed in both individual and group settings]
Imagine with closed eyes sitting in a pleasant environment. You are travelling in a crowded place. You were travelling to an important meeting. On the way, suddenly, a child was met with an accident, and no one in the crowd gave helping hands. You are willing to help the kid, but still, you have a nearing meeting. You felt a very pity for the kid. Now you need to decide what you are going to do in this situation. Are you going to attend a meeting to get a profit or help the child who was injured? If you help the child by understanding the child’s feeling and their parents from their perspective, you are an emphatic person.
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