Lack of Empathy: An emotional imbalance that ímbalances your life

Lack of Empathy: An emotional imbalance that ímbalances your life



Every animal on the earth has feelings and emotions. However, only humans are fortunate that they can express their thoughts without any difficulty.

You might have some people around you who can sense what you are feeling or thinking at the moment. If someone understands or perceives, what you are actually feeling right now, you feel blessed. This trait, someone consistent, is empathy. These feelings don't only help you make your place in someone's life, but you also feel happy.

At the same time, we also can see some people don't try to understand the feeling of other people, even if they say them clearly. You can tell they have lack empathy.

Well, empathy makes you different from other people. But, what specialty you have when you are called an empathic person? What makes you different from others? And, how you help other people to be happy?

There is a lot to know about empathy. And, in this article, I am trying to cover every detail that you would like to know about it. And, here I started.

What is empathy?

If I have to define empathy in simple terms; it is the ability someone holds to sense and understands the feeling and emotion of other people being in their shoes. Such people can imagine how another person might be feeling or thinking at the moment right now.

An empathetic person can understand someone emotionally; they try to see things from their point of view, they can feel their pain by putting themselves in their situation. Such people try to feel the pain, what the other person might be going through.

When an empathetic person sees someone suffering in their lives, they can imagine themselves in their place instantly, and they start feeling what the other person was feeling. Thus, such a person can understand the feelings of the person.

In a world where people are generally biased with their own lives and emotions, feeling someone else's feelings is not easy. But, the ability of empathy allows you to walk being in someone's shoes, enabling you to feel what others might be feeling.

I have seen many people, who cannot be a part of someone's pain and can't respond to them genuinely, and only portray to care about them; some people can actually feel their pain, visible from their vibes and emotions. This shows that empathy is not a universal response. At the same time, being empathetic did not always mean that you want to help others surely. But, it is the action of showing compassion.

Empathy has deep roots in your body and brain. Our ancestors have also been traced with empathy. Also, it can be seen in dogs and rats. Empathy can be connected through two different ways in our brain. Scientists believe that some element of kindness can be seen in mirror neurons. These are the cells that get activated when you see someone in pain, and that would only happen when you were in the same situation.

This might be why an empathetic person tries to be in another person's shoes, to feel their pain. Let me help you in explaining the thing with an example.

If one of your known people has lost their mother, and when you came to know about it, you instantly reacted to their situation, with the same pain they might be feeling as you put yourself in their place and tried to imagine their pain.

Well, the example is itself intense; no one would ever like to feel this pain. But, an empathetic person can feel the pain someone is going through instantly.

Sign of Empathy

It is not hard to find if you are an empathetic person or not. Every trait has some signs. And you need to identify them, so does empathy.

I have listed some of the common signs that an empathetic person has. Please go through it, and see what qualities a compassionate person consists of.

● You are good at listening, what other people are saying.

● Other people come to you to share their problems with you.

● You can feel the same way that other is feeling.

● You are very good at guessing how other people might be feeling.

● People come to you for your advice.

● You feel overwhelmed by awful events.

● You are always ready to help others who are suffering.

● You can quickly tell someone if they are not honest with their saying.

● You care for others deeply.

● You feel drained in social situations.

● You can't set boundaries in-between you and your relationships.

● You are good at putting yourself in other's shoes. Etc.

Type of Empathy

Empathy is an overall emotion that we know as the ability to feel how other people are feeling in an unfortunate condition. But, the meaning of empathy doesn't stop here only. But, it is more beyond this.

A person can feel different types of empathy. And, here are they.

Affective Empathy:

As the word says, this is the sensation you get in response to other people's emotions. You can also say it as it is the mirroring emotion of a person, or you are feeling stressed when you see someone suffering. Such emotional understanding may enable you to feel concerned about other people's we'll be or personal discomfort.

Cognitive Empathy:

It is also known as perspective-taking, in which you can identify and understand the emotions of other people. As per various research, those suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorders have a hard time emphasizing. It is the ability to understand someone's mental state. This is related to psychologist's theory of mind.

Somatic Empathy:

In this case, someone can react physically in response to someone else's experience. In this condition, you feel like other people feel physical, like a feeling of an upset stomach.

Even if compassion and sympathy may seem identical to empathy, they are different from it. Sympathy and compassion are more passive connections, whereas empathy is a more active sensation to understand someone's feelings.

Lack of empathy signs

As we can see some people showing their emotional support to other people, trying to understand their pain and be genuinely concerned about someone, there are a few people who are not in the range of such an emotion.

This condition may be related to lack of empathy, which is commonly seen in psychiatric conditions like borderline and narcissistic personality disorder, psychopathy or antisocial personality disorder, alexithymia, autism spectrum disorders, etc. Whereas people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder show a prominent feeling of self-importance, they need more admiration and have to lack empathy.

Instead of this, the people have many signs that showcase they have a lack of empathy. And few of them are as follows.

● They quickly blame others without knowing the fact and putting themselves in other person's shoes.

● If people suffer from some painful conditions, they will keep themselves out of their reach and seem calm.

● For them, their ideas and opinions are 100% right. And when someone doesn't agree with them, they judge them based on their opinion.

● They don't feel happy with others.

● They can't make or keep friends for long.

● They can't be with their family members.

● They are ready to receive help from you and be with you until their need is fulfilled without showing appreciation. They will feel insulted if you don't help them.

● Being in a group, they will only talk about themselves and their life, without caring about the topic you were discussing in the group.

● They will always do or say something that hurts others, and then they will blame them for their reaction. They genuinely believe that their response was inadequate, and they react over-sensitively.

● For such people, they are always right. And that's why they seem to be fighting with their family and friends, coworkers, and even strangers too.

● They will always blame others for their problem. For example, the events like, if something is broken down due to their fault, the dinner is burnt out, or their assignment is incomplete, they will find something or someone to blame them for the happening.

● Such people can not cope with anything due to their low EQ. So, they will always try to go away from the situation or try to hide their feelings.

● Without knowing anything or any reason, such people may have an emotional outburst. They may be seen emotionally uncontrollably for minutes or hours.

People with a lack of empathy will have very few close friends. This is because a good relationship needs compassion, give and take, emotional support, and sharing of emotions that a low EQ person doesn't have. Thus, they may come as an insensitive person.

They try to shift an overall conversation to them. If you are experiencing something right now, for them, they have experienced it before, better or worst than you.

How to be more empathetic?

We live in a society where you want other people to know about your pain and try to feel it just because they are so irritating due to their behavior.

We are in a society where some people are like us, in many ways, like, in education, earning, spending money, worshiping, etc. As everyone has their world around themselves, they have a different bubble to live in, and thus, there is an empathy deficit, due to which many problems are born.

Research says, even if there is a lack of empathy in people around the world, this trait can be developed. You will get solutions for many of your problems. So, here are some of the ways to help you with improving empathy.

1. Talk to new people

Jodi Halpern, a psychiatrist, and bioethics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies empathy, says, “For me, the core of empathy is curiosity,”

If you think only trying to imagine the pain of others is not enough, but you should try talking to them as well.

For this, began to have a conversation with others. Let them be your friends, neighbors, strangers, or colleagues. Try to know about their life. Ask them how's their life is going. Invite them to your place.

Also, remember, when you are talking to them, make sure you have eliminated the digital screens in between you. Focus on your conversation and their facial expressions and body language. It will help you know them better.

2. Be in other's shoes

A psychiatrist, Helen Riess, who is a chief scientific Empathetic, says, "Don’t just stand in someone else’s shoes, as the saying goes, but take a walk in them."

You can attend someone else's worship places for few days or visit developing places to meet new people. Spend time with them, have conversations with homeless people to know their situation.

Try to consider and understand the behavior of people. And try to find out the reason behind their nature or attitude. Primarily, know the behavior of teenagers or kids and the reason behind it.

3. Be honest

Honesty sounds simple and more straightforward, but it is not a cup of tea for everyone. When you are on the hunt for being empathetic, you need to be honest with yourself and others.

You might have to change your mind, lifestyle, habits, and way of thinking too. And it will take your efforts. But, accept everything that comes to you honestly and respond to it accordingly. Don't be biased with anything. Don't stick to a single point.

4. Amplify Other Voices

This one is not something everyone steps in. Everyone wants others to hear and appreciate them by dominating others.

In this condition, be the voice of others. If you see someone is underrepresented in your group, be their voice.

It is like, when being in a group discussion, someone had a valid point, but no one is attending it, neither they can put their opinion, try to amplify their voice by saying, "they are saying right. Let's focus on it too."

5. Stand Up for Others

"Speak up when someone makes a discriminatory comment or interrupts. This is especially important to do when you’re not part of the community being undermined", said Ms. Thomas.

Being empathetic does not only mean feeling someone's emotions but standing for others too when they need it.

When you acknowledge privileges, try to use them for others. To do this, you can donate money or something that is being raised to help others.

This is not only about money, but you can try supporting others to share their ideas if someone is interrupting them often.

6. Read books

Again, books can help you to be empathetic. Whether you are in life with fiction or non-fiction books, both can help you to develop empathy.

A nonfiction book aims to grab your imagination into it. And while reading such books, if you can get lost in their story, you can feel the journey.

Instead of this, try to understand and learn from fictional books. Fictional books will help you to find out many things.

Also, read the empathetic books for children. As of, books for adults helps them to grow when you raise a child with such books, they will start to grow with empathy.

7. Admit You are Biased

Erin L. Thomas, a partner at Paradigm that helps communities with diversity and inclusion strategies, says, “Bias is a natural part of the human condition. This is adaptive for us to take mental shortcuts and make conclusions about the people around us. Actively working to combat that is what matters."

There is no doubt that we all are biased when it comes to things that we love. But, after knowing it, overcoming it essential.

Being bias is unconscious, and to know about it, try taking a bias quiz like Project Implicit, which was started by researchers at the University of Virginia, the University of Washington.

8. Practice Empathy

Even though empathy is a natural emotion, and we can see it many people being naturally empathetic, you can develop it by practice too.

Empathy is basically knowing the feeling of other and compassionating towards it.

Neuroscientists say, "when two-part of the brain work together, the emotional center perceives the feelings of others, and the cognitive center tries to understand why they feel that way and how we can be helpful to them."

According to research, empathy helps you to be a better person, personally and professionally. At the same time, it is beyond personal benefit. For a better human future, empathy is crucial.

Why lack of empathy also need to show?

Empathy has benefits in many fields, starting from your personal development to aid you professionally.

Simultaneously, lack of empathy ends up in many disorders. It can be a result of environmental, disease, genetic, trauma, physical or psychological damage, etc.

Lack of empathy mainly refers to sociopathy and psychopathy. Whereas,

Psychopathy

Psychopathy that originated from Greek history, where psyche refers to mind, and pathos refers to suffering. Even though, the meaning of this psychological term is shifted to various areas, in the end, it is associated with mental sickness.

Mind sickness indicates its nature itself. And it can be harmful to the person and people around them. Mind sickness damages the ability to feel, think, sense of proportion, imagination, understanding reality, and controlling your emotions.

The reason behind it's harmful is, in this condition, either your mind stops working at all, or it works against you and affects your power to feel, think and understand completely.

Mind sickness can turn into many dangerous forms. Let me say; it breaks your ability to understand the reality, and can result in,

Paranoia: it is a constant baseless sense of fear anxiety.

Schizophrenia: it is a crushed mental condition.

Hallucinations: it is widespread, wherein someone sees or experiences non-existent things.

Delusions: imagining things that are unsupported by your experiences to be true.

Any damage to any of your brain's parts van leads to tremendous problems. But, its seriousness can be imagined; think, what if, broken or damaged part of your brain becomes your ability to react or control yourself?

In such a case, you have lost empathy completely. And, the people are just a shadowy, moving figure for you, and their behavior is completely opposite of yours. For example, you are watching a musical show without a sound. Imagine the situation when you are only watching moving pictures, without music and words.

Instead of having a social impact, a lack of empathy also affects you personally. Your feelings and emotions are dead. And nothing can affect you at all. So, for you, people are different, with no attachment, no emotions, and nothing. You are like a blank slate that, you want to keep it blank forever.

Sociopathy

Sociopathy comes from the Latin word, whereas, Socius means supporter or companion, and pathos suffers in Greek.

The people who are called sociopaths have difficulty associating with the people around them. This is because their ability to deal with others is damaged.

Sociopathy can also be called, Antisocial Personality Disorder, whereas people in their society disregard the suffering person. The symptoms for ASPD are still visible in a person's childhood, yet, they can not be diagnosed until one turns to adult.

This condition can be treated but can't be cured. Whereas the treatment may require the support of family members and talking therapy for an affected person.

A person who is a sociopath can't hide their symptoms, such as lying, breaking laws, lack of regret, etc. They can be varied as per age.

As of, lack of empathy seems to be expected, but it is not. You can consider one with less heart, but a person with a lack of sympathy can be as harmful as a weapon. Either they cannot cope with their emotions, or they are antisocial, which is worst.

How to deal with people with lack empathy?

As empathy help you understand other people's feeling and their conditions of feeling the way they are feeling right now when you see some people with lack of empathy, their attitude irritates you, and you can't handle them.

At the same time, it is not always possible to make them realize their mistakes. Instead, such people always find them suitable. And your behavior might irritate them.

Well, it is not too easy to deal with people who are lack empathy. But, it is not impossible. You may need to change some of your ways to deal with it. Some of them are as follows.

1. Don’t take their behavior personally

People with a lack of empathy may sometimes hurt you by their words, actions, anger, or judgment. And it's evident if you react to it. But, remember, they are the people who have difficulty connecting with people emotionally.

Don't take it personally. You are not at the place. But even if you try to make them understand, they won't be agreed with you. So, this can be an excellent way to deal with them.

2. Don’t explain your feelings

People with a lack of empathy are opposite to you, and if you tried to explain to them what you are feeling at the moment, it would be like wasting your time and energy.

Please do whatever you want to do; they won't realize it anyway. So, don't try to do it often. It will not benefit, but it will only boost up their anger, frustration, and judgment.

3. Talk about facts

Dealing with people who lack empathy can be challenging, as you need to take care of them; they should not feel blamed. If they think so, they will turn back to you.

So, if you want them to understand your thoughts and feelings, put your opinion in such a way that they don't feel shameful or blamed. For this, put the facts and your way of thinking that show your opinion without hurting their emotions.

4. Develop relationships with trustworthy people

Now, this is not easy to find trustworthy people in today's world. But, your experience can help you with it.

When you spend time with people who can understand your feelings, thoughts, respect your opinion, it can make you feel safe sharing your genuine emotions. Either, they are the people you feel comfortable with.

If you want to find such people, go back into your past and see who showed you up the signs of empathy in the past. Avoiding people with a lack of empathy is also a good way to deal with such people.

5. Distance yourself from them

The best way to deal with such people is to maintain a safe distance from them.

When you meet someone, you can't know them in one go, and till you know them, you have established a bond with them. So, it is not essential to put a full stop always. If you distance yourself from people who lack of empathy, it is not bearable for them. But, by distancing yourself from them can be a good way to avoid them.

You can put a comma too by setting some boundaries in meetings and connecting to them.

Keep the contacting superficial so that you can avoid arguments with them. And don't expect a deeper connection with them.

6. Love yourself

Dealing with people who lack empathy is not only about dealing with and avoiding them only. You can also pay attention to yourself too.

You need to love and care about yourself. Be kind to yourself show love towards yourself. Eat what you want, work on your goal, get rest, pursue your dream, develop a good friend circle and healthy spiritual life.

People who lack empathy may blame you for something, their behavior may hurt you, or you get disappointed with their attitude. But, when you love yourself, you know, where to react and what to ignore. Which allows you to deal with such people better.

7. Know your value

It is essential to know your worth. No one else can decide your value, nor people with a lack of empathy who blame you. No one's opinion makes you validated nor their lives.

As it is essential to know your value, unless you realize it, you won't respect yourself.

8. Get professional help

It is not shameful taking help from a professional. If someone is ready to give you emotional support every time you need it, if prepared to be your life coach, guide you rightly in your hard times, it is not a bad deal to make with yourself.

Your family and friends can always be present for you, even if they are ready to help. So, in such a condition, if someone is showing a willingness to change your life, and strengthen your relationships by supporting you emotionally, get it.

This tip is more beneficial for people who lack of empathy themselves. Even, you want to help such people, you can suggest them to take professional help.

Is empathy an emotion?

Daniel Goleman, who is the author of the book Emotional Intelligence, says that “empathy is basically the ability to understand others' emotions.”

So, empathy is a skill and not an emotion. Empathy can be considered as an interpersonal skill that shows up naturally to people.

As per social psychology, empathy can be said as an emotional reaction towards something. Whereas empathy can be divided into three types, viz,

1. Affective empathy

2. Cognitive empathy

3. Somatic empathy

They are different from each other due to the pattern of their reaction towards the event.

As empathy is a practical, emotional experience of another person and feeling the same emotion, it makes you feel various emotions. This also raises the question of if it is an emotion or a skill.

Whereas many researchers say that empathy is a skill, and some are yet to conclude between the skill or an emotion.

As you can develop, establish and work on it, it can be said that it is a skill that some people have naturally and some need to improve.

How to empathize with someone?

Throughout the article, I was talking about showing empathy, improve empathy, and dealing with people who lack empathy. But, it is also necessary to know how to empathize with someone.

Well, it doesn't ask you for more effort, but you can do it by sifting yourself emotionally and find it better. So, let's check out the list to see how it works.

1. Put yourself in other's places.

It is not a big deal to judge someone without knowing the fact and the condition they are going through. We can easily pass a comment, "it is not a big deal," "I don't understand why you are reacting this way," or "you are overreacting now," etc. and how many of actually try to be in someone's shoes and try to understand their feelings.

Maybe, 1 out of 10. It is possible that you might not even think how big their problem is, and they are just reacting to it, and if you were in their place, your reaction would have been worst than theirs.

So, before judging someone, try to be in their place and walk a mile to know what they might be going through.

2. Show care and concern.

Sometimes, your actions are enough to make someone feel great. If someone is coming to you with their personal problem, they might be seeking emotional support from you.

In such a case, your "how are you feeling now?" and "can I do something for you?" words can heal them emotionally.

Show your support to your close friends, and if they are your partner, hug them and be with them.

3. Acknowledge the person’s feelings

One of the most common and significant gaps in the conversation and hence in the relationships is not acknowledging each other's feelings. Well, this can be in between two friends or family too.

When someone says, "I'm so sad," " I'm angry," "I'm frustrated," and so on, offer them a wise response. Acknowledging them an intelligent answer would mean saying, " I'm sorry hearing that," "what happened?" Such a response can be their therapy for the moment.

When you deny acknowledging their feeling means disrespecting them and their feelings. Emotions are one of the ways to connect you with them. So, always respect and acknowledge it.

4. Ask questions

Questions are the key to the conversation. When someone comes to you with their problems and especially with their personal situation, ask them questions to make them feel that you are ready to support them. Remember to ask them meaningful questions.

Let me say if someone comes to you and shares that they lost their close one, asking them, "are you okay?" "What happened?" or " sorry to hear that" kinds of questions can help them to open up.

If you say, "I see," " move on," or "try to cope with it," it can indicate them to put a full stop and don't express their feelings.

5. Mirror response

You might have the experience that, when you were sad, you tried to share your feeling with someone, and text them about ten messages at a time, and their response was as cold as, "okay," or " I see," or "ohh, no" types, I'm sure you might not have tried to share further with them.

It is one of the conversation stoppers, responding to a single word or a single statement for 5 paragraph text. Where one is open up to share things, whereas, other is closing off. Here, what mirroring comes in.

Mirroring would mean responding to someone in an appropriate manner to build a connection. In simpler words, it means copying someone with your response.

An example of this would be sharing something with you, like their breakup; your response should also be mirroring their problem as a solution. Or, you can also try to build communication based on what they are sharing with you.

6. Don’t run ahead of the conversation.

I have seen many people doing it. Jumping in between or ahead of a conversation would mean reaching the endpoint of a discussion rather than knowing and hearing out the matter first. Many people do this.

For example, if one of your friends comes to you saying they have lost their job, they might be expecting something good hearing or an empathetic response from your side. And if you say, "I hope, you get a new job soon," it may ruin their hope.

Probably, they are not expecting you to make them feel better, but there are just sharing their pain with you; it's your duty to make sure you respond to them as per the situation.

To know how to react in this situation would be, try to be in their place, and feel what they are feeling right now. And, if you share this news with anyone, and in response, what you would like to hear is your solution for your dilemma. Try out this, and go one by one. Don't just jump on the endpoint and try to make them feel better.

7. Don’t judge

People are experts in making judgments for others without knowing the fact. Thus, it closes off the conversation. Let me say, if your friend didn't score good marks in the exam, this doesn't mean that they haven't studied well.

They may have any other issue like, they couldn't write a paper due to any health problem, or any of their family problem.

So, only by knowing the current situation can you guess how someone is stuck in the current situation. And when you learn to understand it, you will be able to ignore judgments.

8. Show emotional support

Sometimes you don't need a solution or good result for whatever the condition is; someone's support makes you feel better; offer others your support, in whatever condition they are.

Trust me; what your support can do for someone sometimes, your solution may don't have the strength to do it.

"I'll always be there for you" are the magical words for someone. And when someone needs them, do the magic with these words and see them growing.

How to have empathy?

Now it's time to check out yourself. If you think you have empathy, or you want to have compassion, you need to develop it and improve it in yourself, and it is not a huge deal to do it.

Just check out the list, and see how to have empathy.

1. Challenge yourself

Push yourself toward challenging situations and keep challenging yourself until you get out of your comfort zone and develop a better you.

Learn new skills such as foreign language, musical instrument, dancing, and so on. Don't stop and keep learning. Develop professional skills.

When you do all these things, you are humble. And humility enables empathy.

2. Get out of your comfort zone.

It is essential to get out of your comfort zone. When you be in the box, you don't get to explore new things, new people, not your skills and your capabilities.

For example, if you went on a trip, you will meet new people, know new culture and be a better one. This way, you get to get better appreciation too.

3. Get feedback

Feedbacks can help you develop yourself. Ask for feedback about yourself from your family and friends or colleagues, too.

Ask feedback about your listening skills, presenting skills, etc. Also, it is essential to check them periodically to see your performance.

4. Explore the heart

This can be interesting for you to do so. Read books and analyze yourself by exploring your relationships and emotions.

This will help you to improve empathy. This practice is done in the case of young doctors to enhance empathy in them.

5. Be in others’ shoes

Being in someone's shoes is the best way to know how someone feels in their tough times.

When you feel something real, you can understand the pain. And being in someone's place give you a chance to know it and feel it.

Well, in this way, you can be more empathetic.

6. Examine your biases

Even if you say it multiple times, admit it; you are biased. We all are biased toward something or someone, especially regarding exact age, gender, and race. And if you deny this fact, you are lying.

Check out yourself, and see how biased you are.

7. Develop a sense of curiosity

Curiosity tends to learn. Just like, when you ask something curiously to others, you get to know about many things and develop yourself as a stronger person.

8. Ask better questions

Asking questions can also help you having empathy.

When someone shares their problem with you, you need to ask them meaningful questions so that they open up their mind. Also, take care of that; you are not just trying to end the conversation but making it possible for someone to tell you about their feeling and emotion.

Lack of empathy test to find out How empathetic am I

I'm sure, after reading the texts, you have got an idea about, what empathy is, and how it works.

Empathy gives you a chance to sense other people's feelings and emotions and also allows you to feel like they are feeling. As per various researches, empathy makes you more concerned and generous about other's welfare. And also develop a good relationship along with being a good human. Along with it, empathy also improves leadership quality.

At the same time, it is also true that everyone can't have the same intensity of being empathetic. And, it would help if you found out how compassionate you are. Right?

● The below quiz will help you out. This quiz is structured using scientific scales to measure empathy score viz.,

● The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire, developed by Nathan Spreng and his colleagues;

● The Emotion-Specific Empathy Questionnaire, developed by Sally Olderbak and her colleagues.

● The Interpersonal Reactivity Index, developed by Mark Davis.

The quiz has around a total of 28 questions, where the first 22 will help you to measure out your level of empathy, and the next six are helpful for the research team to find out how empathy works on various factors like gender, age, and political exposure.

Try to answer each of them as honestly as possible. The credit for this questioner goes to the respective owners.

Take The Quiz

1.) I feel sad quickly when I see the people around me feel sad.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

2.) Before blaming somebody, I try to visualize how I would feel if I were in their place.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

3.) It is difficult for me to know what brings in my friend's happiness.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

4.) It bothers me when I see someone being treated disrespectfully.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

5.) When someone else is feeling excited, I feel excited too.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

6.) I have concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

7.) I sometimes find it difficult to see things from the other person’s point of view.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

8.) I find that I am “in tune” with other people’s moods.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

9.) If I’m sure I’m right about something, I don’t waste much time listening to other people’s arguments.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

10.) If someone tells me about an event that made them happy, I can easily understand why it made them happy.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

11.) I try to look at everybody’s side of a disagreement before I make a decision.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

12.) I become irritated when someone cries.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

13.) I can quickly think about events that will make my friends happy.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

14.) I sometimes try to understand my friends better by imagining how things look from their perspective.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

15.) I get a strong urge to help when I see someone who is upset.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

16.) I believe that there are two sides to every question and try to look at them both.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

17.) When I see that my friend is sad about something, I quickly feel sad as well.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

18.) I have a hard time predicting what situations will make other people happy.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

19.) When I’m upset with someone, I usually try to put myself in their shoes for a while.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

20.) When I see someone being taken advantage of, I feel protective towards them.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

21.) I remain unaffected when someone close to me is happy.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

22.) I enjoy making other people feel better.

● Strongly Disagree ● Disagree ● Neutral ● Agree ● Strongly Agree

23.) In terms of your gender identity, do you see yourself as:

● Female/Woman ● Male/Man ● Gender non-binary ● I prefer to self-identify ● Specify

24.) What is your age?

● Under 18 ● 18 - 29 ● 30 - 39 ● 40 - 49 ● 50 - 59 ● 60 - 69 ● 70 or Over

25.) Please indicate your birth order about your siblings (if any).

● I am the oldest child (firstborn) ● I am a middle child ● I am the youngest child (last born) ● I am an only child (no siblings)

26.) Would you please select your ethnic background (if you identify with more than one ethnicity, choose the one you remember with the most or select multiethnic)?

● African, African-American ● Asian, Asian-American ● European, European-American (Caucasian) ● Latino, Latino-American, Chicano

● Native American ● Middle Eastern ● Multiethnic ● Specify

27.) How would you describe your political views?

● Very Liberal ● Liberal ● Moderate ● Conservative ● Very Conservative

28.) Please provide your best estimate of your annual household income in USD (before taxes).

● Less than $25,000 ● $25,000 - $49,999 ● $50,000 - $74,999 ● $75,000 - $99,999 ● $100,000 - $124,999 ● $125,000 - $149,999 ● $150,000 - $174,999

● $175,000 - $199,999 ● Over $200,000

How to be more empathetic in a relationship?

When you are in a relationship, there are many expectations involved between the two of you. And it is expected that both partners fulfill the expectations.

Well, relationships also involve many emotions, and empathy is one of them. Every relationship requires empathy, and with this emotion, the connection gets more robust.

1. Be present for your partner.

Stein Berg says, "Gaining an understanding of the significant value of demonstrating empathy towards a partner can encourage couples to prioritize this relationship skill. Even though one partner is going through a hard time, which might skew their objectivity, they should try to become completely attuned to their partners’ feelings in light of the circumstances. This will become a continual two-way street, particularly because one partner's hard times often have a significant effect on the other".

Well, no one can see their partner in trouble, and they want to be there for them anyway. Which makes their relationship more muscular than before.

Where this presence is missing out, the couple may experience an unhealthy relationship.

2. Learn to avoid judgment

Being judgemental about someone and especially about your partner creates a gap in your relationship. When one partner is in difficult times, it is expected from another partner to be present for them in any condition. A genuine relationship is about learning and growing together. And when someone judges others, it makes them feel small.

As per Steinberg, "They can withhold judgment of their partner’s choices and assume that those choices were made after careful consideration, regardless of whether or not they ultimately led to success. Believing that their partners are considerate individuals sets the stage for all good things."

3. Look for positivity

Sigal says, "Often partners get into the habit of focusing on what’s wrong with their partner or their life in general." Segal suggests, “looking, for one good quality in your partner every day.”

This way, they both can feel more empathy for each other, rather than having doubts and complaints about each other. And, this way can help them in improving empathy.

4. Be self-compassionate

Segal emphasizes " treating ourselves with kindness, care and understanding.”

When you can empathize with yourself, then only it is easy to empathize with others. You can develop this skill by practicing it on yourself when you have difficult times, without lowering your experience in the event, Segal continues. Now, check your needs to have healthy strategies.

Keep reminding yourself that no one is perfect, so you. And the struggle is a part of your life. So, be nice to you first.

5. Be empathetic in your time.

Don't stop learning. Maybe empathetic during your time is new for many of you, but it will help you nurture your relationship. And you will see the signs when you start doing it.

Steinberg says, "Some couples struggle with being empathetic toward one another because having empathy is a high-order relationship skill that not everyone has been taught, or has taken the time to learn and master."

6. Share partner's responsibilities

It will be a significant step to try to understand and share your partner's responsibilities.

In a relationship, it is seen that, both the partner often tends to judge each other, rather than trying to understand each other. And thus, they end up in an awful relationship.

It is the secret of long-term relationships to be more empathetic towards each other and share each other's responsibilities.

To explain this concept, Steinberg says, "A fun way to show empathy in a long-term relationship is to take on some of your partner’s responsibilities for some time, to really get a good feel for what it’s like to be them."

7. Talk about emotions

Steinberg states about emotional involvement in a relationship, "Happy couples often show their empathy by communicating verbally that they are taking the time to imagine what their partners are experiencing."

When you listen and understand why your partner is trying to say or express, it gives you a chance to know and understand them better, and it tends you towards empathetic emotion.

8. Give genuine attention

Goldstein says, “When you are listening with genuine attention, you are taking action to understand your partner.”

In a relationship, it is not only about hearing out your partner, but you have to listen to them and understand what they are saying.

You don't only have to listen to what they are saying, but you have to pay complete attention to your partner and show your genuine concern for them.

Conclusion

Empathy is beneficial emotion that helps you build, maintain and develop relationships that you were struggling with. It is not hard to be empathetic, nor impossible. Empathy is the only emotion that helps you nurture your relationship. But, before that, it teaches you to be nice to yourself and show empathy for yourself. When you can love someone, then only you can live with others. With this article, I hope you have got an idea about empathy. And it will help you make life better.


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