Empathising with others

Ever since I was a small child I was always able to empathise because of my own physical problems, although I was more akin at expressing myself inward more than outward.

Empathy can be spontaneous, inherent and inbuilt for those of us with those qualities, but not everyone will have them. I believe though that even if it’s not something we have, it’s something we can learn to cultivate, we’ve just got to want to. It’s something that needs to continue to be nurtured if it is to work. As easy as it is to have it, it is easy to lose it when stress sets in.

I also believe we must continue to have empathy, if we are to understand more about our lives and that of others.


3 Oct, 2016

6 thoughts on “Empathising with others

  1. If people feel secure in their illusion of superiority then they may not have the heart to empathize with anyone lesser than them; especially if they’re armed with ignorance and arrogance at the same time.

    My third eye has seen enough crooked smiles and dead hearts to last me a lifetime.

    1. Ignorance and arrogance are two reasons why people fail to empathise with others. I also think our backgrounds have a lot to do with it, in the way we communicate and respond to others.

      If we see our parents empathise with others, the odds are we will learn to empathise too, although I agree it’s much harder to do that when we’re not emotionally in a position to empathise, but without us being empathetic; others won’t have empathy towards us and that’s often what we need.

      The world would be so much sweeter with more empathy in circulation. I get your last paragraph and agree Tim. If that is the case, we must learn to concentrate on ourselves.

      We can’t worry about others, who don’t worry about themselves or us.

  2. I never had empathy as a child. I never sought it and just got on with my life pretty much in a parental vacuum. So it’s perhaps not all that surprising that being empathetic is not one of my strong points.

    I agree it is something that we can learn and build on and I try.

    1. Thank you. Your last sentence sums up your response nicely. Yes, regardless of whether we have empathy as a child or not, we can still learn to build on it.

      I was never given empathy as a child, but it didn’t stop me recognising what it was.

  3. This is something I have known about since I was 3 years old, although I never quite knew what to think about it.

    I very clearly remember being in the hospital after almost dying from pneumonia and realizing that I was able to pick up on what other kids were feeling. This wasn’t just a hunch or intuition, but being able to feel exactly what they were feeling.

    It wasn’t something that I revealed to anyone as I had heard enough of the horror stories about what happened to my mother in the psychiatric hospital! I was an unusually smart and intuitive child to begin with, who picked up very quickly on what not to do. They had put me into a cage crib in the hospital, so I never wanted to be forced to go back to a place like that.

    Fast forward to the present and I have only recently been openly admitting that I am an empath, as much as people don’t believe in it. This has also been one of my biggest downfalls in being such a nice guy, along with being such a sucker for a sob story and a pretty face.

    I was also forced to be nice to people as a kid, who I really disliked so my empathy was warped in so many ways. It took me a long time to figure out why I kept getting into the same type of relationships, just with different women, it finally made sense.

    This just means that I have to be a lot more cautious when I’m dealing with certain people, since they can so easily play with my emotions, if they so choose to.

    I can have empathy, but not to the point where I put myself in harm’s way for their benefit.

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes, you can have empathy without putting yourself in harm’s way. You’re in control of who you let in.

      You’re a nice guy Randy. There is nothing wrong with that. Wanting to help and understand how other people feel is a gift. Not many people know how to understand, or even care what other people think or feel. It’s lovely that you have the ability.

      I think having empathy does help us navigate relationships better. It’s always easier when it’s reciprocated of course. The world needs more people like you; because you care.

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