In the high-technology era, the world has been even crazier that you and I may sit next to each other in public transportation without saying a single thing at all. Even if we knew each other, it could happen as well. With a smart phone in each of our hands, no more interaction is needed. Not to mention empathy.
Have you seen a pregnant woman standing up in a crowded commuter-line as nobody wants to give their seats to her? No worries, you’re not the only one who has seen it. This is a big mad world with very small empathy. So, why is empathy important? I’ve given you some clues in the first two paragraphs; now find out the answer below.
What is Empathy?
Empathy is the ability to feel what others feel. Empathy supports social senses of a human being that really comes from his/her heart, not from any enforcement. That will lead you and me to act more compassionately with each other. Furthermore, there have been many studies that show the possibility to improve one’s empathic ability.
In the past few years, neuroscientists have been developing the “mirror neurons” concept aimed to promote the capacity to scan and imitate signals of human emotions through gestures, facial expressions, and other types of body language.
The concept may be a help for a person to share his/her experiences of emotions and show more empathy to others. The importance of mirror neurons is still an argument between the pros and cons, though.
So, Why is Empathy Important?
Yes, the next question will be: why is empathy important? Before I begin to answer it, I’ll give you another clue, i.e. we’re not talking about a small scope here. Some of us still think empathy is a small factor that leads humans to do good deeds to others. Nope, I’m afraid that’s not what I’m going to bring up. Empathy is more than meets the eye.
1. Humans are social beings
Our perspectives towards humans as social beings may be different, but it’s undeniable that most activities we do involve interactions among all of us. Thus, the ability to comprehend others better as well as read their emotions and feelings are excellence to the ones who possess them.
The perks of having better empathy are to read the others’ real motives, understand the ways the others look at you, be more objective in solving problems—as you get to see both positive and bad sides of every story, be wiser in making decisions, and finally get respects from the others as you always try to treat them decently.
2. It may enhance your career and business
No matter what career or business you have been running and whether you work as an employee or an entrepreneur, empathy can widely open your opportunities—especially the good ones.
Good cooperation both in business and among colleagues are usually built on trust and trust is what you get when you understand the needs and expectations of the other parties well. To do so, what you need in the first place is not more or less than empathy.
3. It puts aside the boundaries between you and the people with non-verbal communication
With empathy, you will be able to read between the lines within the conversations you are having with those who cannot really express their feelings with words. That’s because you are speaking to them through your heart.
4. Convincing and motivating the others have never been easier
Having empathy means you are able to look at the world from many other people’s points of view as you have given your best efforts to “put yourselves in their shoes.” This also means you can master in convincing and motivating others in different ways to see your perspectives or goals. This personal approach is very important in life—especially if you are a leader, commander, preacher, motivator, or trainer.
5. It lets you live your life to the fullest
Being strong at empathy allows you to get to perceive the world through many points of view. Once you reach that, don’t be surprised to see the unexpected—like a prediction or even premonition. No worries, though, it only means that you have broadened your horizons and lived your life to the fullest.
Being Too Empathetic will Kill You?
While sympathy just means feeling the sorrow or grief that someone is going through, empathy encourages you to take compassionate actions to the others—no matter how they treat you. I know, it sounds too positive and right, doesn’t it? In fact, it is actually too naive to show your empathy without being rational at all.
Furthermore, too much empathy will definitely interfere with your logic in making decisions, resulting in you following only your heart rather than your brain, and finally endangering yourself with many risks you are unaware exist—because you are thinking too positive.
So, now that you have found the answer to a big question in life: “why is empathy important?”, you have also known the downsides of being too empathetic. Empathy is basically something that makes us human, so simply be a human. You’re not an angel; don’t ever take it too far. Enjoy every second of your life!