What Does Empathy Mean?
What is Empathy:
Empathy is the intention to understand feelings and emotions, trying to experience objectively and rationally what another individual feels. The word empathy is of Greek origin “empátheia” which means “excited”.
Empathy makes people help each other. It is closely related to altruism – love and concern for others – and the ability to help.
When an individual manages to feel the pain or suffering of others by putting himself in his place, he awakens the desire to help and act according to moral principles.
The ability to put oneself in the other’s place, which develops through empathy, helps to better understand behavior in certain circumstances and how the other makes decisions.
The empathic person is characterized by having affinities and identifying with another person. It is knowing how to listen to others, understand their problems and emotions. When someone says “there was an immediate empathy between us”, it means that there was a great connection, an immediate identification.
Empathy is the opposite of antipathy as contact with the other person generates pleasure, joy and satisfaction. Empathy is a positive attitude that allows establishing healthy relationships, generating a better coexistence among individuals.
Empathy in psychology
According to psychology, empathy is the psychological or cognitive ability to feel or perceive what another person would feel if they were in the same situation lived by that person.
Empathy as a value
Empathy can be seen as a positive value that allows an individual to relate to other people with ease, and enjoyment, being important the relationship with others to maintain a balance in their emotional state of life.
On the other hand, empathy allows a person to understand, help and motivate another person who is going through a bad time, achieving greater collaboration and understanding among the individuals that constitute a society.
Empathy and assertiveness
In the first place, assertiveness is expressing ideas and sensations, both positive and negative, in a propitious moment, and in an appropriate way, in relation to a situation.
Therefore, empathy and assertiveness are communication skills that allow a better social adaptation, although both abilities present differences.
The assertive individual defends his own convictions, while the empathic individual understands the convictions of other people. In spite of this, all the ideas that arise in the discussion regarding a given situation must be respected and tolerated.
Empathy and sympathy
As such, sympathy is a feeling of affinity that attracts and identifies people. It leads an individual to generate harmony and alliance with another. Specifically, when someone falls well, it feels good to be with her because of her way of being or feeling.
On the other hand, empathy, as was previously said, is the understanding that one person feels for another in a certain situation.
However, one person may feel sympathy and empathy at the same time for another