The Role of Empathy

The Role of Empathy

 

According to Culture of Empathy, some results of empathy are:

 

  1. Fosters good, pleasurable and positive feelings

Feels really good. Pleasure centres of the brain light up.

 

  1. Is a Way of Being in Life and the World.

Gives a sense of identity. I am an empathic person and will strive to live that way in the world.

 

  1. Fosters emotional and physical health and well-being

Via connection, care, inclusion, Community, etc.

 

  1. Heals painful psychological problems

(loneliness, alienation, anxiety, fear, depression, despair, shame, etc.)

  • Helps you from having negative/painful/uncomfortable feelings
  • Is a healing antidote to negative/painful feelings

 

  1. Is the active ingredient in conflict resolution
  • Can head off conflicts before they happen
  • Keeps conflicts from escalating
  • Is the key active ingredient for conflict resolution.

 

  1. Is a Source of Creativity, Innovation and Transformative Action
  • Empathy Connects, Transforms and Removes the Blocks to Action

 

  1. Is a Gateway to, and Supports, Socially Desirable Values

(Healing, happiness, collaboration, understanding, creativity, innovation, etc.)

 

  1. Expands our Perspectives
  • Is a Way of Knowing (like a sixth sense)
  • Is a Way of Knowing what others know
  • Gives you multiple perspectives, eyes and hands on a situation
  • Gives you more perspectives on self

 

  1. Helps Us Find and Meet Our Needs, Values and Aspirations

 

  1. Increases helping and altruism behaviour.

 

  1. Has Many Benefits in Specific Contexts

 

Such as:

 

  • People higher in empathy are more likely to help others in need, even when doing so cuts against their self-interest.
  • Empathy reduces prejudice and racism.
  • Empathy is good for your marriage: Research suggests being able to understand your partner’s emotions deepens intimacy and boosts relationship satisfaction; it’s also fundamental to resolving conflicts.
  • Empathy reduces bullying.
  • Empathy promotes heroic acts.
  • Empathy fights inequality. People show less empathy when they attain higher socioeconomic status.
  • Empathy is good for the office: Managers who demonstrate empathy have employees who are sick less often and report greater happiness.

 

In summary, empathy is good:

 

For giving:

  • Builds trust—thus allows for transparency of oneself
  • Allows authentic self to come forward (rather than defences of self, or masks)
  • Enables focus on what truly matters between human beings, i.e., honest expression of what’s alive in them
  • Can gain real understanding of another
  • Enables clear and helpful expressions of caring and concern
  • Sends message to another of acceptance (rather than apathy or opposition)
  • Enables remedies and solutions to arise naturally
  • Can foster an intimate connection

 

For receiving:

  • Builds trust—thus allows for transparency of oneself
  • Allows authentic self to come forward (rather than defences of self, or masks)
  • Enables one to feel accepted and understood–really heard
  • Can gain a nourishing sense of visibility, i.e., being seen for who one wants to be and really is
  • Can feel satisfaction about how one is being perceived and viewed
  • Dissolves defences and promotes attuned relaxation with self and others
  • Can foster the practice of self-empathy
  • Enables feeling cared for and even loved
  • Can cultivate a deep appreciation for human connection and understanding
  • Enables remedies and solutions to arise naturally
  • Can foster intrinsic motivation