Practicing Empathy – Stop Judging and Start Listening
Have you been living in a bubble? Let us look at this question more closely. Is your social circle small and homogeneous? Are you too busy looking at your smartphone to see who’s around you? Are you the kind of person who loves to hear themselves talk but don’t have the time or patience to listen to others? Are you judgmental?
You, my friend, need to learn empathy!
Let us look at what empathy entails:
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and aim to understand what they are feeling and their perspectives, and then use it to form your actions.
Don’t confuse empathy with pity or kindness. You are simply learning the right way to listen to the person you are talking to clearly and offer them support in a way they will find helpful rather than offering your advice.
The rule of empathy is, “Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Below are some tips on how to practice empathy:
1.Practice Active Listening
Think of active listening as strategic thinking. Let the other person speak without any interruptions, allow them to finish, analyze what they have said, summarize your understanding, and ask non-judgmental questions. Even though you would have talked very little, your understanding and clarification of the situation would offer them the advice they were looking for.
By relating to the listener, you can offer better advice without commenting much on the situation. This is a great stress management technique that will calm down the talker. Here’s an example to help you understand this:
Perhaps, you have been in a similar situation the other person is talking about. Tap into the emotions you felt at that moment and then tell them how you handled the situation. By being vulnerable, you show the person who’s speaking that you are open to listening anytime and anywhere.
3.Examine Your Biases
Being biased is the most un-empathetic thing you could ever do. Do not judge people on the way they talk, live, or look. So, expand your social circle and mingle with people from different backgrounds.
4.Support Other Communities
By joining a shared cause, you can eliminate biases and clear differences. This will teach you new things about different people and their cultures, which will allow you to understand where they are coming from.
How will you know that you were helpful to someone if they don’t tell you? So, ask your friends and family members if you are being a good listener and offering valuable advice. Yes, it’s that simple!
As humans, our natural desire is to connect with people, and we can do this better and more effectively by having empathy. So, try out these tips and bring a positive change in yourself to offer your best self to others.