When we can understand someone’s feelings from their perspective and don’t stand in judgment, we have the ability to empathise.
Empathy isn’t something we’re born with, it’s something we can learn and practise, but it’s not something we will all develop. To have empathy, we must put ourselves in another person’s shoes and feel what that person feels.
Some of us have natural empathetic tendencies, whilst others don’t. Some of us don’t notice the feelings in others, while others simply can’t be bothered to notice, but most of us will be somewhere in the middle and will understand in part how someone else feels. In the main, we tend to ignore how others feel when we’re not coping well ourselves.
If our parents have empathy, we can learn about it from them. But even if our parents don’t have empathy, there is no reason why we can’t learn it. Empathy comes from within us, and from what we see around us.
Because I was a child growing up with physical and emotional difficulties, I innately understood how others felt. I learned very early on what empathy was. I could see someone else’s suffering through my own suffering and that enabled me to easily relate.
We have to understand what others go through, we have to want to care and help others, to see things from their point of view.
It is important we have empathy. Society works better with it and although that relies on the greater good, when we use empathy, we will always get the best out of each other.