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Empathy, put yourself in my place

Empathy, put yourself in my place

It seems kind of trivial, but the phrase "put yourself in someone else's shoes" is a categorical affirmation which explains that only if you imagine being in someone else’s situation, is when you could realize the real problem they are experiencing. If not, then ask yourself how many times have you seen someone crying and, and even without knowing his reasons, have you felt identified?

That's what empathy means. The word comes from two Greek expressions that mean “inside him” and “what he feels”. Currently, it is one of the central skills for emotional intelligence, or what is the same, how our emotions influence us to make better decisions.

Empathy requires understanding the emotional life of someone else, almost in all its complexity. That's why active listening, understanding, and emotional support intervene. Also, it implies having the capacity to distinguish between the emotional states of others and the ability to having a perspective of the situation, both cognitive and affective, being respectful of the person who expresses his emotional state.

Active listening pays attention to non-verbal expressions, as would be physical gestures, intonation, response time or volume. And, on the other hand, it shows interest in knowing the details of the content of what the other is saying.

Understanding the other is expressed through direct support messages, which do not underestimate or judge the emotions of the person who is telling you his feelings.

Empathy allows you to enjoy better interpersonal relationships, it helps you feel better with yourself, also about conflict resolutions, increases charisma, makes you more respectful and develops leadership skills, negotiation, and collaboration.

A University of Colorado researchers team scanned sixty-six volunteers’ brains while they were hearing real testimonies of human dramas, with different outcomes. Also, the volunteers had to value how each story made them felt, this time without any scanner on them. The first great discovery was that there is no region of the brain in which empathy develops, but there is a network that links different zones.


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TEXT: Francis Torres; IMAGES: Archivos