The world has always been divided into bubbles, and this has become the case even more so now following the coronavirus pandemic as the word ‘bubble’ was used more than it ever has been in the past. In separating ourselves from others, we often lose out empathy as a result and this can be the root of a lot of our problems, especially when it comes to socio-political divides. As such, there are certainly benefits to us all becoming more empathetic people, but for a lot of individuals, this is an instinct more than a conscious effort. Learning it can be difficult and it can be tricky knowing where to start. As such, this article will discuss in greater detail how we can all become more empathetic people.
What Is Empathy?
Empathy is the ability to understand how other people are feeling and being compassionate towards them and those feelings. According to neuroscientists, this is the result of two parts of the brain working in unison with one another. Empathy is great for making those around you feel better but it can also be good for your personal growth as it makes for better managers, workers, loved ones and friends.
How to Practice Empathy?
There are a few different ways that you can practice empathy, which include:
- Look into charities and donate where possible
One of the ways to have empathy is to have a clear understanding of the hardships that a lot of people around the world are going through and what charities do to overcome those hardships. It will give you perspective on some of the struggles people go through and also equip you with the tools to empathize with someone going through similar struggles. You should also try donating to charities if you are in a position to do so. Read here about the dos and don’ts of supporting foreign charities.
- Talk to new people
For practicing empathy a little bit closer to home, talking to new people can do a lot for you in terms of making you a more empathetic person. Jodi Halpern, who is a psychiatrist at the University of California, Berkley, commented on this, saying, “for me, the core of empathy is curiosity.” The reason behind this is that you will get an understanding of what other people are going through and develop empathy towards their struggles as a result.
- Join forces for a shared cause
Working with other people can also do a lot for enforcing your empathy. This can be for a small project that will benefit a few people or a larger project that will have a major influence. In doing so, you are minimizing the differences between yourself and those that you previously were divided from. It’s astounding just how much humans can eliminate any unconscious biases that they may have by working hand in hand with others. Some options for doing this can be by working on a community garden, doing some political organizing, or joining a committee of some kind.