In previous blog ‘The secret of empathy’ we discussed about how empathy is based into our brain, however to be empathetic as much as possible it’s important to keep learning all the time. Here are several methods which could help to improve your empathy:
Method #1: Observe others – try to concentrate less on yourself, on your mobile phone, on your own feelings, step out of your daily routine and take time to observe others around you. Ask yourself ‘How they are feeling?’ ‘What kind of day they are having?’. This kind of attention direction is not only a first step to empathy but also a good way of learning.
Method #2: Use active listening – it seems nothing difficult to listen other person, however our conversation usually looks like a battle of statements rather than an empathetic conversation. In order to use active listening slow down and take a moment to consider what other person’s statement means, then ask follow-up questions to better understand what the speaker seeks to tell you. Also use your non-verbal communication like deep eye contact, smile, open posture to show interest in other persons.
Method #3: Expand your circle of empathy – if you truly seek to increase your empathy challenge yourself to understand those with whom you have less natural sympathy – perhaps even your enemies. Trying to be empathetic to people whose beliefs you don’t even share could let you grow as a person.
Inesa Lelyte is a Bachelor of Psychology student at Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania. She is interested in the areas of neuropsychology and neuro-cognitive psychology. Inesa is an intern at Willingness.com.mt.