Empathy Life skills Series
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What is empathy and how is it defined? Each and every life skill helps us become a better person, and have an influential role in the life of our loved ones specifically and people in our society in general. Being good always gives us a good feeling and allows us to respect our personality as a human being. Most life skills can be well acquired through persistent practice and training. Therefore one positive aspect of life skills is that they do not belong to a certain class of people and are available to each of us at all times.
"Empathy" refers to an understanding and sensitivity to another person's feelings. The concept is often described as putting oneself in the other person's shoes to imagine how the other person is feeling at that particular moment. In other words, empathy is the ability to understand the world from another person’s point of view and the desire to treat another kindly based on that understanding. An empathetic person actually shares another person’s feelings, thereby showing caring behavior. To have empathy means to feel another person's feelings (pain, sorrow, joy and other emotions). Empathy is the cornerstone of the ability to love. Therefore empathy forms the core of a good character. Being kind, affectionate and loving are essential elements of empathy.
Read Your Friend's Feelings in Different Situations: People always show different feelings, and there are times when they try to hide their real feelings such as sadness or excitement, as they prefer not to talk about them. This can be interesting. You can try to guess how a close friend feels and then try to speak with that friend in order to discover if you were right. Do this guessing based on both the verbal and nonverbal clues you get. For example body language and facial expressions can guide you towards tracking down how your classmate feels at a particular moment. You have to be careful about how you approach people, show them concern and prove that you only intend to share their feelings and support them.
Ask "How Do You Feel" in a Polite Manner: If you are close enough to that person, for instance a classmate, frankly ask the person how they feel, especially when you realize they are upset and deep in thought. Listen to them carefully and try to empathize with them sensibly before suggesting anything. You don't need to say anything at all. In fact there are times when the other person urgently needs someone to share his/her feelings without making any judgment or comments. And that's just the time to step in as a good friend or sibling –whatever the relationship may be.
Be Kind No Matter What: When a friend desperately needs you, just be kind, even if you feel you disagree with them in one way or another. Then when the right time comes and the other person falls silent, patiently discuss the problem and try to guide them as to the root of the issue in a step by step manner. Do not make the person regret trusting you. You can keep saying, "I understand how you feel…" a few times during the conversation in order to calm your friend down and assure him/her that you are on their side, with your only intention being to be helpful.
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