Empathy is a way of seeing through someone else’s eyes or feeling their pain. It’s a precursor to compassion; that is empathy in action—a commitment to do what it takes to relieve another person’s suffering. Empathy helps us to connect with others and understand them better.
Empathy differs from sympathy as the latter means to look at other people’s suffering from the outside and feel sad or sorry for them. Empathy out-rightly puts you in the other person’s shoes, making you view things from their perspective.
Experiencing empathy can improve the quality of your life. It opens your heart and lets in more feelings, but it also softens some of your tough experiences. As you come to appreciate the power of empathy and build it for others, you understand them more and can connect with them differently. The understanding helps to boost your resilience—the ability to bounce back after challenges.
You must understand that empathy for others doesn’t always lead them to change their behavior. But it is helpful for you as it helps you to better navigate difficult situations. Being empathetic benefits you the most as it is the cornerstone of good relationships. These good relationships are the bedrock of happiness in life. Empathy is a learned skill. It predominantly involves learning about someone else’s worldview. The learning process is a product of your personal relationships. Empathy will bring you to a place of humility and courage where you come to realize that your perspective is not necessarily the perspective.