Published By: Bono Sen

Empathy is an acquired skill: Here's how to get better at it

Hoping to be perceived as less rude and up with friendship skills, here are a few things to consider!

While some regard empathy as pitying others, the rest go to great heights with it and are considered melodramatic. But, there’s a fine line where you can develop just the right amount of skills to be an empath. Here are a few things you can consider practising as an adult, to score high in life!

Emotional or Cognitive: Learning the type

There are two basic types of empathy, emotional and cognitive. The first one’s pretty simple; it’s where you learn to feel the emotion of another in a certain situation. In the case of emotional empathy, you might consider feeling distressed because the other person is going through a certain distress, although you may not be able to exactly feel how they feel in the moment. Cognitive empathy is a bit trickier. It requires you to intellectually dissect the causes of another’s distress to perceive how the other person in question feels in a certain situation. This requires your focus on the identification of behaviours paired with emotions.

Connect with the collective: Take the challenge head-on

While serial empaths may find it easy to offer a shoulder to cry on, you may not feel comfortable with the same. It’s best to start practising with a collective. For example, you can reach out to help a collective cause, maybe organising a charity in the neighbourhood or something else that involves other empaths assigning their time to a collective cause. This will help you ease into the world of empaths. This will ensure that an individual is not solely dependent on your existence in a certain situation, so you don’t have to directly bear the responsibility. This can be a great place to start!

Checkboxes: Look for the similarities

While non-empaths can easily point out differences, and why they do not like mingling with someone, it’s difficult for them to perceive similarities. If you find this relatable, don’t worry, we’ll get through this! Try to find similarities with everyone you meet, you won’t be successful every time, but most times it takes a certain level of comfort for a person to open up to you. Spend some quality time with people you may not particularly love or hate, and try to look for similarities.

In their shoes: What’s your size?

Once you have accomplished the above steps, now try to connect with people that you want close to you. Try to imagine yourself in their situation and ask yourself how you can deal with a certain situation in a better way. This will take you on a smoother journey to being a better empathetic person.