It is crucial to our personal development, our relationships, and society itself that we make the effort to try and experience other people’s realities as well, this is done through empathy. You have to set yourself in their situation. You have no idea what is going on in their life. They could have the ability to cover up those feelings, and have a separate life in public. Empathy is an act of attempt to understand another person’s perspective, their emotions, and in essence their reality. You have to understand that sometimes people aren’t what you think. They could be struggling through this experience that doesn’t phase you.
We are social animals and our ability to communicate and understand each others emotional states is key to maintaining our relationships. If you aren’t trying to understand what someone is feeling, then you aren’t playing a role in a healthy relationship. If you don’t take an extra step, then you aren’t going to bond on a personal level. You have to play an equal role, and both people need to put in that effort.
The ability to empathize is hardwired directly into our brains. One area that insists in this process is in their right supramarginal gyrus which helps us to distinguish our own emotional state from that of another person and plays a key role in our ability to observe and assess what other people are experiencing. We have systems of mirror neurons in our brains that cause us to mimic the actions of others.
Be observant of others, we tend to spend majority of our day dwelling on our cells caught up in our own daily routines and digital distractions, but taking the time to observe others around us is a good first step in developing our empathy. Watch and wonder focus on the person’s state of being rather than categorizing, or labeling them, ask yourself what kind of day are they having? How are they feeling? Curiosity is the first step to expanding your empathy. You need to look up from technology and realize there is a whole other world around you, with actual feelings.
People need to understand the importance of someone else’s feelings. If we don’t care then relationships will be full of “not caring.” Slow down, don’t rush to reply. Take a moment to consider the other person’s statement. Ask follow up questions to better understand. If you are in an argument, try and consider what they are feeling, and how you could have been wrong,don’t think you are always right.