Introducing The Next Generation Of Leaders And Thinkers

Understanding Others’ Feelings: Why Empathy is Important

What does empathy mean? It is the ability to understand and share other people’s feelings and emotions. There are three types of empathy: affective, cognitive, and emotional regulation. One person may have one or all these forms of emotions.

Affective empathy is the kind that people feel when they see others going through something. They will feel the fear and pain in characters when watching movies or interacting with people in real life. It is explained perfectly in creative empathy essay examples that illustrate how one may feel this deeply. Cognitive empathy is when one feels the emotions of another but does not share them in a visceral way. The best example is that of a psychologist who is able to understand what their client is going through. You can read free writing samples that delve deeper into empathy, meaning and the ways people show it.

The last one is emotional regulation, which basically shows one’s ability to remove themselves from a situation while remaining connected. For instance, a surgeon may feel their patient’s pain and emotions without showing their own. They are able to regulate their feelings to focus entirely on the task at hand. Material written and published on these matters is explanatory as it gives examples of each of these forms.

Being Aware of Self

For someone to show empathy, they have to be self-aware. They have to know how they feel and separate them from the other person’s. Some animals -rats and non-human primates – have been observed to show this emotion when their mates are hurt or in pain. It helps to note that empathy is not the same as sympathy. The latter makes one feel sorry for another’s struggle, and they may have the itch to help. Psychopaths are believed to lack empathy, but that has been discounted because you’d have to feel someone’s pain to know how to torture them sufficiently. What they lack is care.

Why Empathy Matters

An empath can understand others and relate to what they are going through. This could make them better leaders if they separate their emotions from others. They become better team members since they are connected to the rest of the group and understand them.

When one understands what another is going through, they make deliberate efforts to minimize their pain, leading to better relationships. It creates a healthier relationship among people in the class, college, and even marriages, especially if they are intentional with their actions, having known how the other party feels.

Those who lack empathy are not entirely bad people. We have essay writing that shows they are sometimes more logical than empaths when difficult decisions have to be made since they are not overly emotional or sensitive. That being said, they may show traits that fall into the category of narcissism and antisocial disorder.

These are some of the traits associated with people who lack empathy:

  • Overly critical of others.
  • Unaware of how others feel.
  • Judgmental
  • Accuse others of being overly sensitive.
  • They behave insensitively.
  • Cannot handle conflicts.
  • They won’t admit when they are wrong.

One can allow themselves to feel more when they make deliberate steps in understanding the other person. Here’s what you can do to change:

  • Be honest with your feelings by allowing yourself to feel and show emotions.
  • Try to put yourself in others’ shoes.
  • Forgive yourself and others for things you and they have done.
  • Read a book on empathy or seek the help of a therapist.

Is Empathy Selective?

Yes, it is. If you are in university, you are likely to relate more to students in your course and group who have similar traits since you all go through the same things. Most empathic or apathetic people are observed to have the same character. They will deeply feel the emotions of those like them – their race, gender, and such groupings. Studies showed a part of the brain – the anterior cingulate cortex – influences us to feel the pain and emotions of those like us more than those of different racial or economic class groupings. Bottom line: we are not all born empaths. It’s a life-long education into ourselves, our feelings, and those of others, so be gentle with yourself.


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