Empathy is a category that is used both in the context of describing a personality trait, and the accumulated moral quality, communication skills, or style of interaction with reality. Empathy as a quality of a person is manifested in the inner need of a person to share the feelings of another, and this is done unconsciously when help is offered or sympathy is expressed, and the emotional sphere independently connects to the state of another. During empathy, the emotional realms of several people merge and their experiences unite, regardless of who first began to experience emotions.
Quality empathy, as a category of skill, implies that a person does not receive this ability from birth, but can develop independently or this skill forms a society. As an interaction style, empathy is often replaced by other, not identical, concepts of compassion or mercy. It is important to understand that there is a merging of any emotions - you can rejoice, be persuade, sondeyat, etc. this is the main difference from other moral categories that regulate emotional relations in society.
Perhaps it is the ability to express empathy to another person is the most valuable quality, because even in friendship, people can stay side by side in problems, help and listen to many troubles, but at the same time are unable to bear the happiness and success of another. The empathy of the entire emotional spectrum is most vividly represented in the child-parent relationship, when the baby’s joy pleases his parents even more, and when his pain inside hurts him even more.
What it is
Emotional empathy is a term denoting a person's state when he connects to the emotional sphere of another, usually with the mean negative coloring of emotions. But empathy has no limitations on manifestations, therefore, as a result, it gives a feeling of closeness, warmth and support. Such an interaction most fully describes friendship and faith in a person, since implies not so much practical assistance provided coldly by logical calculation, but rather the adoption of spiritual experiences, and giving the other a sense of integrity.
A person can manifest this quality only independently, it is impossible to make another feel the approximate spectrum of his emotions or worry about a topic that is insignificant for him. On the part of the receiver, empathy is always perceived as something pleasant, giving a feeling of calmness and lack of loneliness in front of heaping up emotions. But if such behavior is demanding from people, remembering how favorable it was, then nothing but strong resistance would at least somehow take part in the interaction.
Empathy cannot be controlled or intentionally summoned, although this skill can be trained. It has in its structure something similar to its own feelings, arising spontaneously relative to the surrounding reality, but poorly controlled, although with certain practices, prolonged psychotherapy or self-analysis, a person may get the opportunity for their transformation.
It is the difference in the attitudes of others and the internal processes that occur with a person during empathy that do not allow this category to be attributed only to positive manifestations of individuals. This is considered a good feature for those who want to get support and sympathy while the emotional state of empathy for the person himself takes him to the sensual sphere of another, where not only his own identity, but also control is lost. This is somewhere like losing one's self when the wishes of another are perceived as their own, his ideas seem to be extremely correct, and sober assessment is possible only when people come out of the merger, and there is no common emotional sphere. In order not to lose oneself in spiritual impulses it is necessary to be able to distance oneself, moreover, both from the joy of others, capable of carrying off into unknown euphoria, and of the pain of others, which destroys the nervous system and psyche.
The presence of this feeling is an exclusively subjective category that has a great influence on the general process of the formation or frustration of the moral norms of society.
Empathy often borders on pity and compassion, the capacity for self-sacrifice and empathy - all of these categories are direct keys that strengthen the humanistic direction of human development. Empathy develops from childhood, and although it has an innate base as an ability to empathize, it requires further inner work.
How to learn to empathize
The skill of feeling someone else's mood, state, and thoughts for some people is innate or acquired due to factors independent of the individual (features of upbringing and social environment). Those who do not possess a highly developed empathic orientation of their sensual sphere and who understand the need for its further application in life, can specially learn to empathize. Not everything can be learned consciously, because we can experience some kind of emotion not only under the influence of the mental sphere, but also work through internal barriers that hinder sensitivity or remove stress-trapping blocks for everyone.
The first task in order to learn how to feel what is happening with others is important in all the subtle nuances to understand what is happening in one’s own emotional sphere. To do this, you will have to get acquainted not only with the basic feelings that are accessible to a person, and in their vivid manifestations, but also learn to recognize those that are usually pushed away by the subconscious mind or divide emotions into half-tones and various combinations.
Accepting and living your own negative sensual palette reveals sensitivity to others. The more a person is fenced off from unpleasant experiences, switching, the more lost the ability to recognize these emotions at all, both in oneself and in others. Therefore, arranging for oneself the opportunity to work through grief and sadness, anger and discontent, without fleeing from these experiences, as a result, makes it possible to notice such experiences among others. In rare cases, you must allow yourself to feel pleasure, joy, desire, as the possibility of empathy with the positive side. Psychological blocks of relatively good feelings are less common and are usually accompanied by serious trauma (for example, when it was impossible to openly express love) and require personal psychotherapy.
For orientation in the emotions and opening yourself access to all their manifestations, you must release your feelings daily. It can be in the format of a dialogue or diary entries, drawing or sports helps someone, dancing classes or blogging - the format is absolutely not important. After the skill of recognizing one's feelings is formed, it is necessary to gradually shift attention to the people around you, for which to use active listening. You should not focus on the text spoken by the interlocutor - your task is to catch changes in voice, intonation, gestures and other manifestations of the emotional coloring of the narrative.
An important point in assessing the state of another and trying to feel it is necessary at the time of perception to forget the insults or joys that connected you with the person, his actions in the past or your hopes for further developments. The smaller the bindings to the emotional perception will be initially, the higher the probability that during the story you will experience the same range of feelings that the other person feels. It is necessary to eradicate the fear of feeling discomfort or pain, because it is the unwillingness to experience negative emotions that causes people to become harder, turn away from suffering, unsubscribe from groups that talk about unhappiness. Of course, empathy can bring not only the joy of sharing victory or the feeling that helped a friend, but also requires mental strength to live the pain of others, as if it were their own. Then it will be necessary to recuperate, to put in order the nervous system, the injured, although it felt less pain.
The practice works perfectly well when you try to imagine yourself in the place of the interlocutor, in principle, as empathy basically explains. This is similar to how we are imbued with the fate of the characters of books or films, when we do not sleep at night to read or ask for leave from work, because a sequel has been published. These experiences will be similar to similar feelings of waiting for the return of a loved one, even if you do not have a relationship or a sense of surveillance, when you read the detectives, despite the fact that you are a baker in a candy store. Such immersions in an alien world are possible with a high level of sincere interest, respectively, you need to find your own interest either in the interlocutor’s personality (then each story will automatically be perceived brightly and completely) or in the story (it’s better to catch personal significant topics, then searching for answers will make and for another).
Formation of empathy skills
There is a very practical side of the formation of empathy, based on the use of various verbal messages and non-verbal actions. Our brain reads information and can be closed or open to new experiences, not only depending on their subject matter, but also in what situation the action itself takes place.
Each time it is necessary to prepare not only your psychological space, but also your physical one. Better perception of another occurs if there are no visible obstacles that create a barrier (this includes tables standing between talking, backs of chairs, screens). This technique can also be used for the opposite - if you need to be extremely independent of the emotional influence of another person, put at least some barrier between you, and the more impressive it is, the more protection you get. As obstacles are removed on the material level, they need to be removed on the non-verbal level of their body - there should not be crossed limbs, closed and turned poses. This is all that the interlocutor more willingly and in detail tells, but also you automatically become more open to receiving information.
In order for attention to catch all the nuances of changes in intonations or facial expressions, it is necessary to minimize in advance the surrounding noises, distractions, the possibility of abruptly stopping the conversation (open door, ringing telephone, etc.). What will help to keep attention - attempts to repeat the pose and gestures of the speaker. Our physical manifestations reflect the mental state, there are confirmed studies, when using the repetition of a person’s posture, another could call his emotions. If you also listen to the text, then the information and detailing of the interlocutor's experiences becomes even clearer. Similar processes occur due to the use of mirror neurons and the biological reformatting of the emotional sphere under its physical expression.
To find out more about people than they are presented only with text, you need to develop a constant desire to learn more information. This is a kind of drug that only informational or emotional food can fill. The more you strive to learn about people every day, the greater will be empathy, and you should be interested in both the biographies of famous personalities and the neighbor’s retirement age. Ask people about their experiences, when they look at the sunset or when they drink lavender tea - try to find out the answers from completely different people, traveling, if not all over the world, then at least to the surrounding cities.
In order to understand the correctness of diagnosing and feeling of other people's emotions, it is good to ask someone from your relatives to practice. It’s just that a person should honestly tell you whether you are voicing his feelings. You can talk about your feelings about the emotional sphere of another, then when you feel something and when you can logically assume the emotion being experienced.