Empathy is something that comes easy to some and is harder for others. Regretfully, there was a time in my life when I didn’t comprehend empathy. I had a vague idea what the word meant but I just didn’t “get it”.
Over the past few years I’ve come to understand what empathy is and how it helps in our lives though. And I’m glad I have.
After all, can you have a true connection with others when you fail to understand—or try to—what they’re going through, what they’ve been through, or the impact your actions could have on them?
I couldn’t. I wasn’t sure how to “empathize” past the end of my nose. And my relationships showed it.
Thankfully we humans can change! It took awhile but I did start to “get it”. As I learn how to empathize more, I have a better understanding of those around me and my relationships grow deeper and more meaningful.
So I wanted to share the best definition of Empathy I’ve read. Maybe it will help you “get it” too. Or maybe you already have empathy down pat. Either way, this is a great quote.
By Steven R. Covey—From Principle Centered Leadership.
- “Empathy is the ability to comprehend with accuracy the precise thoughts and motivations of other people in such a way that they would say; ‘Yes, that is exactly where I am coming from.’
- “Empathy is not the capacity to feel the same way someone else feels.
- “Empathy is not acting in a tender, understanding manner.
- “Empathy is the ultimate anger antidote.
- “Empathy is the ability to visualize the consequences, good and bad, of your behavior.
- “Empathy is the ability to conceptualize the impact of what you do on yourself and on the other person, and to feel appropriate and genuine sorrow and regret without labeling yourself as inherently bad.”
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Copyright © 2011 Roland Byrd — All Rights Reserved