How To Use Empathy?

 

Empathy—or the ability to share the feelings of another—is truly something that we are (almost) all born with, but is something that is, if it is not practiced or nurtured at an early age, will fall away. It can be developed, and it is a crucial skill to effective communication, which in turn is critical for achieving what you would like to do in your life. You could WANT to have empathy for another for these reasons, but that would be inauthentic and not true to yourself. The idea is that through your demonstration of your compassion, you learn more about yourself.

Obstacles To Empathy

The problem is that so many things in a typical routine are not designed to support the development and to nurture empathy. We are not actively choosing to consistently express our empathy when situations arise. We confuse the meaning and defining element of the ability to feel connected to one another, although they are quickly regained. Empathetic communication is often absent in our everyday life. We are projecting or directly not connecting at all. When working on a project with others, we attempt to communicate with someone else. Still, we genuinely are only applying our experiential feelings in the interactions or relationship, and at best, it will be an external communication or contact. Developing, intentionally, our empathic connection with others will compel us to connect with ourselves more deeply, and of course, forge and sustain more meaningful relationships, which lead to increased ease in accomplishing goals and fulfilling our desires. Here are four ideas to consider if you desire to increase empathic abilities.

Idea 1: Sympathy and empathy are not the same things 

We are confusing the idea of compassion with this idea of understanding. Kindness is simply the recognition of a feeling within another, and perhaps even an intellectual comprehension. Empathy is FEELING it, within your bodies, as the sense being real to you. The willingness to actually feel the feeling that someone else is having means that you would be compelled, in your shoes, to take action upon those feelings. It does not mean that you MUST take action, but the feeling of being forced to do so is a sign that you are integrating the feelings of another. I have a friend who understands this exceptionally well and is applying this concept to a food pantry. Whereas most food pantries operate with a sympathy mentality—we feel sorry for people, and therefore we set up an infrastructure that embodies that. However, my friend works from a place of empathy. Instead of a single location as most pantries operate, his is a mobile model that sets up mini pantries where the people in most need are. He is wildly successful in serving his fellow community members.

Idea 2: Empathy is not a means to an end

Neither is generosity, nor compassion, nor kindness. The superficiality of being kind to someone by doing something that friendly people do will only go so far. If the intention is not sincere, the lack of depth will come through in the action. This superficiality is typically representative of a desire to connect with others, but fear of seeing a part of ourselves. When we feel the feelings of another, if we are not steadfast in knowing who we are, then we can become confused that those feelings are our feelings and that they represent something external to us.

Tip 3: Empathy is NOT about pity for someone below you

This is a HUGE problem. We've culturally come to associate empathic abilities with feeling sorry for someone. This is a narrow interpretation of the ability. 

Tip 4: Empathy is the ability to feel the feelings of another without judgement

This means that when you see someone who appears to be happier than you, your empathic abilities are available to feel that feeling and lift you up. We tend to think of empathy as connecting with someone experiencing a feeling that may be less desirable, but truly that is half of it. For the purposes of manifesting more desirable life outcomes—growing your business, getting a better job, attracting in an ideal partner, raising money—empathy is a core skill. You want to FEEL the way someone feels that IS growing a business, IN an ideal job, ALREADY in a perfect relationship, and HAS PREVIOUSLY raised the necessary funds. This is basic manifestation techniques, and empathy is core to it.

So, How Do We Use Empathy? 

We already do! We choose to connect with other people because we see them as our brothers and our sisters. We put ourselves in their shoes and feel their experiences, then allow those feelings to come through it. Yet, we do not identify with them. This is not about projecting or assuming or stereotyping; those are all mind games. This is about feeling and feeling alone.

If we want to develop this ability of empathy, we must first know what our feelings actually are. This means looking deeply into—and accepting—all parts of our emotional body. We have empathic abilities, but they can get all clogged up in a confusion of what is my feeling versus what is another's feeling. Playing more comfortably in our own inner land of feelings is a prerequisite for empathic connection with others.

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