Empathy is the ability to understand, share and connect to another person’s feelings, EI and empathy are closely related. Tuning into “feelings” vs. “thoughts” is the key. Finding a way to acknowledge emotions creates a greater depth of understanding, connection and ability to relate to partners, friends, family or co-workers. Falling to recognize empathy can impair most relationships.
This is how you put yourself some one else’s shoes. This is a starting place for empathy. Using empathy will improve your emotional intelligence. How could this be a bad thing? Well, being over empathetic is not necessarily a good thing. It can be difficult to take on too much pain of another person and carry it with you. Taking on someone’s pain could easily fall into the category of sympathy, which is very different. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone. Sympathy takes on a different meaning in relationships than empathy. In actuality, psychotherapists are trained to manage feelings, self-care and keep perspective on their own feelings around others’ difficulties. Take this tip and be aware of how you are managing your feelings for yourself and others to keep your EIQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) high.
Watch the video below to learn more about empathy, and how it is different from sympathy.