Empathy is being aware of and sharing another person’s feelings, experiences, and emotions. When a person learns to understand and share the feelings of another, the results show up in better relationships, closer friendships, and stronger communities. When you are truly empathetic toward someone you experience what they are feeling no matter what they are going through and show them you care. It is more than just treating people better, it’s DOING better.
Empathy can be viewed as an acronym (or a word where each letter stands for another word or phrase) to better understand it.
E - Everybody needs somebody
M - Model and mirror their emotions
P - Put yourself in their shoes
A - Ask if you can help
T - Treat others the way you want to be treated
H - Hurtful or helpful (make sure you aren’t making it worse for them)
Y - You feel better and they feel better
Five Steps to Cultivating Empathy:
1. Watch and Listen - What is the other person saying? What is their body language?
2. Ask - Ask the person what they are feeling.
3. Imagine - Try to imagine how they feel by comparing it to how you would feel in their situation.
4. Remember - When have you felt the same way as the person says/shows they feel?
5. Show You Care - Let the other person know you care through your words and actions.