6 habits of highly empathic people

Dear Soulseekers,

I’m starting a new series on empathy this week. Today I will be discussing habit #1.

But first let’s be clear on what empathy is. Empathy is defined as the “ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions.” Empathy is different from kindness or sympathy. Empathy requires taking a step back before responding or reacting to that person.

Habit #1:

If you want to be a more empathic person, be curious about other people. If you are an empath, which is a highly empathic person, you are naturally curious about other people and truly interested in learning more about them. You might talk to the stranger sitting next to you on the bus or in the movie theatre. You find other people more interesting than yourself. Curiosity spurs you on to leave your comfortable social circle and to learn about others who are different from you. I encourage my students constantly to be curious. I think it’s a trait that many of us have lost, and I am not sure why. Happiness guru Martin Seligman identifies curiosity “as a key character strength that can enhance life satisfaction”(Krznaric). So consider talking to the person at work that you don’t really know or saying hello to your mailman or the cashier at the store. However this time, be truly engaged and interested in what they have to say. Try to step into their “shoes” to get a true understanding of where they are coming from.

Empathy begins in the first two years of our lives with our attachment relationships. However we need to continue nurturing our empathic growth throughout our lives. It’s a daily practice ya’ll. Becoming a better person, a better member of society requires practice and intention.

This week I challenge you to reach out to someone you would not normally talk with and truly try to gain a better understanding of their world. See the world from their shoes. I’m working on this everyday with some of my students.

Until next week,

Posted by

I'm honest, sarcastic, funny, loyal, a goal setter, determined, health conscious, a dreamer, a bibliophile, and a creative.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s