Building empathy: how to learn to empathize

16 June, 2021
should empathy be taught

Building empathy: how to learn to empathize

Compassion and empathy are abilities that can be learnt. Your compassion for other people can pull a person out of the emotional hole, cheer him up and even lead to Christ. Compassion is a feeling that helps you not be indifferent toward pain in others and show them that there is the way out. Today in the Christ's Bodies blog we are going to see how to learn empathy.

Factors affecting the formation of empathy

  • Neurodevelopment: animal and human brain contains a mirror- neuron system, which plays a large role in empathy and can provide the neurological basis for links between someone else's experience and our own one.

  • Temperament: our personality is an important factor that affects the formation of empathy. For example, shy and scared-of- strangers children are less inclined to be highly empathic in unfamiliar situations;

  • Facial expressions: non-verbal communication begins in early infancy and, apparently, is associated with understanding the emotional experiences of other people;

  • Parenting: The socialization processes through which parents influence their children and teenagers play a great role in the development of empathy when they become grownups.

How you can learn to have empathy

The ability to empathize is a complex process. Empathy includes:

  • Feeling and accepting the emotions of another person;

  • Sincere reasoning about the point of view of another person (for example, you put yourself in the place of another person and try to imagine what he thinks or feels);

  • Intention to help shows compassion and sympathetic concern for someone who is vulnerable or troubled.

You can improve your empathy through practice. For example, Jesus is the epitome of true empathy – follow his example of preaching the gospel to others. As you practice and improve your empathy, over time you will find that your ability to understand other people's emotions become more powerful.

Key lessons for developing empathy

By following the lessons of compassion, you can easily learn empathy. Remember that even small changes in our daily life can significantly affect our ability to empathize with others.

1. Develop curiosity

Take an interest in the lives of those with whom you communicate. Spend time with people you know less and ask how they feel and what they are worried about. Follow people from different walks of life in social networks: religious, ethnic, political and listen to what they say.

2. Get feedback

Ask your friends, family, and colleagues about your active listening skills and relationship building skills. This way you will find out what you are missing and can develop your empathy better.

3. Understand how people feel in different situations.

Spend more time with people and find out what happiness, failure, joy and sorrow mean to them. Recognize that you can do something to help and change someone's life. For example, talking about Jesus to a person who does not see a way out of difficult circumstances.

4. Study the literature

Reading fiction, nonfiction, newspapers, magazines and online content that reflects the lives of people from different walks of life increases our emotional intelligence and our ability to empathize. Find writers who have unique stories to tell. Dive deeper into characters, their feelings and thoughts. In the future, this practice will help you in communicating with people and expressing empathy.

5. Read the Bible

The Bible is a treasury of stories on empathy, help, and compassion. Learn how Jesus helped people, draw a line between His ways of salvation and empathy. Jesus is an example of love and compassion for people. These two reasons alone were sufficient to go to the cross and give His life so that people would be set free from sins.

The Christ's Bodies platform is a unique place to practice evangelism and empathy, the Bible study and making new acquaintances. This is where home groups are created that are held every week for online fellowship and ministry.

Join the Christ's Bodies community and become part of the online movement today!