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3 Steps to Make Empathy Easier

“The capacity to give full attention to someone who is in pain is a rare and rare thing. It is almost miraculous; It is a complete miracle.” – Simone Weil.

One of our greatest needs is to communicate. I think the purpose of people who painted caves centuries ago was to express themselves and share with someone other than themselves. When we look back today, this need is still with us.

From the moment we are born, we continue our lives through communication. Imagine trying to adapt to life without communicating with anyone, including our mother, in any way. You can neither cry nor laugh nor make a sound… I can’t even imagine that we can hold on to life without communicating. It may seem like we have the innate ability to communicate to meet such a basic need. But actually, it is not like that at all. We have communication patterns far from dialogue, mainly through mutual monologues. We’ve been learning math, science, and grammar for as long as we can remember, but we’re not taught how to communicate with each other. If we are lucky, we can acquire communication skills from our family members. What if we’re not lucky? Then we need to develop this skill.

I give particular importance to communication in my blog posts to help you strengthen your communication skills. Today’s topic is not to express oneself but to approach the speaker with empathy! You can find my suggestions on how to express yourself better in my previous articles about self-disclosure.

Opening the doors of empathy

What comes to mind when you think of empathy? In its shortest definition, empathy is the state of understanding other people’s experiences with respect. We all want to be understood. While we all want to be understood, we ignore what someone else wants and neglect to listen without judging them.

If we want to be approached with empathy, we may need to teach this to the other person first. Therefore, empathizing with the other side will be one of the best steps to improve life regardless of how we are closed. So, let’s take an empathetic approach together in 3 steps!

Three steps to the empathic approach

1. focus attention

If we want to have empathetic communication with someone, we must first clear our minds of our prejudices and our preoccupations and focus our attention on the message that the other person wants to give. However, when we listen to someone, we focus on finding the gap to justify ourselves or finding a sentence to console them. However, our attention cannot be focused on many places simultaneously. It can only focus on one subject. When we pay attention to our thoughts, we do not understand what the other person wants to say.

2. Recognizing the need

When you listen to a person’s feelings and needs, you develop a deeper relationship than expected. No matter what the other person tells us, his immediate need is to be understood. By noticing this need and listening to what the person says, we can try to understand what he needs, what he feels, and what he thinks, and we can make the other person feel that we are aware of him.

3. To show that you understand

Giving a message that the other person is understood by listening to the other person, understanding what they need, thinking, and feeling without adding your comments, and sharing this with the other party completes empathic communication. Re-expressing the sentences you heard in your own words is one of the ways to show that you empathize with the other person. For example, “I am apprehensive about my mother’s health. I want to go to the hospital and have a test as soon as possible, but I can’t make you listen to words,” to a friend who says, “I understand that your mother’s neglect of her health worries you a lot,” will be an answer that shows that you understand the other person and will make the person feel understood.

Attitudes to avoid in the empathic approach

Our old habits may haunt us as we strive to empathize. However, most of our attitudes prevent us from empathizing. Most of our reactions make the person feel not understood, rather than understood. Below are some attitudes that inhibit empathy.

  • Giving advice
  • Go to top
  • give lectures
  • Cheer
  • cover-up
  • Query
  • To change