Patience and Compassion: Developing Empathy

16 June, 2021
benefits of empathy

Patience and Compassion: Developing Empathy

A sense of compassion and empathy make us human. It forms the foundation of ethical practices, close personal relationships, love and professional success.

If you have patience for other people and pay attention to their troubles, you are compassionate and can offer your help, then empathy develops in relationships. But how can you develop empathy and helping skills?

Ways to develop empathy

Remember that everyone has a chance and time to develop empathy. Compassion and patience are an integral part of emotional and social development and an important motivator for helping those in trouble. In the most literal sense, a developed sense of empathy is the ability to feel and accept the emotional experiences of another person. There are several powerful guidelines for developing a sense of empathy:

1. Learn to identify your feelings

Working on yourself and your feelings is something to start with. Many of us are “sophisticated” about feelings that we cannot easily identify, and it is more difficult to identify them in the lives of others. For example, our thoughts influence our feelings and we may not see how they are intricately related, such as frustration and irritability, or happiness and excitement.

Spend some time in prayer and understand yourself before you empathize with others. In this way, not only the development of empathy occurs, but also the development of your emotional intelligence. This will help in the future to recognize the emotions and feelings in others.

2. Try to let feelings of others pass through you

One of the best examples of highly empathetic people comes from the ones who have some experience working in a multicultural environment. It is important here not to be afraid to feel what other people feel, to be interested in their affairs, failures or successes, to find out how they see and experience certain situations. Unless you actually want to emotionally understand what other people feel about similar situations in life, empathy skills are likely to remain quite limited.

3. Ask others regularly about their views or feelings

Take an interest in the experiences of others. Silently compare their answers with what you thought about yourself at that moment. This approach not only helps you improve your empathic skills, but it also helps you learn more about a particular person.

What are the conditions for the development of empathy?

Sense of empathy develops initially from self-awareness. It's not hard to guess that a person’s childhood shapes him. As children become more aware of their own emotions, they begin to recognize them in others, and their emotional resources increase.

We usually develop empathy in childhood taking the example from others. Some people are genetically predisposed to be empathic from an early age. For example, children can identify in some cases the connection between specific events and their emotions.

The main foundation for empathy is associated with monitoring one's own and others’ feelings and emotions. Our emotional center at this moment perceives others’ feelings, and the cognitive center tries to understand why people feel this way and how we can help them.

We know that the ability to empathize makes people better colleagues, family members, and friends. Remember that tolerance and compassion are critical to a sustainable and humane future.

Christ's Bodies is a place to build a community of empathic people who can empathize and bring the gospel to the world. Here we create home groups, conduct online services, and study the Bible. Register on the Christ's Bodies platform to find like-minded people, develop empathy and learn how to share it with the world through preaching about Christ.