Empathy is a quality that not everyone has today. However, we should all learn to listen through empathy because it teaches us many things. We put aside our feelings to put ourselves in the shoes of the other person, it teaches us to love, to know the needs of others and perhaps to fill a void inside us.
Many times when one person tells a problem to another, the latter feels that the other is not listening properly or does not make any comment about it, to quickly talk about their concerns. That is not being empathetic. Adopting this attitude is toxic to personal relationships.
If we look for the cause of this attitude, we find it within each person. Therefore, if you want to change or improve the way you relate to people, you have to modify the attitude of each person.
The general problem is that each person is mired in an internal emptiness and is unable to connect or feel empathy for other people. The problems and concerns that people have prevent them from seeing the emotions and needs of those around them. They also prevent them from listening to and empathizing with them.
The reason these people are unable to empathize is because when they were children they did not receive the necessary attention, they did not listen to them when they had something to say or they did not have enough support.
Because of this inattention, they have carried the problem into adulthood. For this reason, they are now unable to empathize or pay attention when someone speaks to them. Now they still need to be the center of attention, but are unable to attend to or detect the needs of others. In other words, they see their needs, but not those of others, they do not feel empathy.
As long as they do not heal their emotional wounds, they will be unable to empathize and learn to communicate with others. They must first learn to love themselves, in this way they can open up emotionally to others.
Benefits of empathy:
It connects with people, helps to see more possibilities when a problem arises, to find new ideas that otherwise a single person would not be able to see.
Listening helps to empathize with others, strengthens ties with family and friends, and helps people feel integrated into society.
Not thinking about oneself and thinking about the good of others favors cooperation, which helps to obtain better results.
The first step in learning how to empathize is learning to listen. In order to do so, below we have prepared a small guide with the steps to follow:
- The first thing to do is listen to the body, non-verbal language is more important than verbal. Gestures and the way people react speak louder than words. When two people are talking, you can tell if one is listening to the other by the way he moves his body.
- You have to look more in the eyes: Through the gaze, many messages are also transmitted. The gaze focuses attention, turns communication into something more authentic.
- Any distraction must be avoided: When two people speak, one of them cannot be distracted, you have to empathize with the other person and try to understand what they are saying. If the other person sees that your interlocutor is distracted, the communication will be affected. To do this, it is better not to look at the mobile and avoid being aware of anything else that attracts attention.
- Nod to show attention. When having a conversation, it is advisable to make a gesture with your body to make the other person see that you are paying attention, without having to cut the narration. This way the other person will feel that they can be honest, that they are listening to them and that way they will be more at ease.
- You have to respect the rhythm of the person who is speaking, you should not cut your narration to make comments, as we have said before. And much less if these comments are not related to the story that the other person is telling you. It is better to wait for the person to finish speaking and then comment on some aspect of what they have just said.