Empathetic people have the ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes. They see things from the other person’s point of view.
Empathy is a useful social tool for the environment we live in. With empathy, we can connect more deeply with the people around us.
Even though this ability is unique to humans, not everyone develops it equally. There are some who are naturally very empathetic. They don’t have to work hard at it.
Others need to work more to be able to use this to connect with others.
In this article, we will share with you the main characteristics of empathetic people:
1. They truly listen to what other people are saying
Empathetic people listen to every word in a conversation. However, the difference between them and other people is they give their full attention.
An empathetic person doesn’t listen just to say something back. They’re really interested in what you have to say to them.
Even though this might not seem very important, paying attention while listening is a gift you give to the person you’re talking to.
It’s also a difficult ability to use.
The majority of us don’t usually give our full attention. The normal thing to do is to listen so you can say something back or debate an issue. The problem with this is that the connections we create with others aren’t really that strong.
On the other hand, empathetic people reply to what you say with their whole body.
It’s easy to realize that they’re paying attention to what you’re saying. They show it with their gestures, energy, and posture.
2. Empathetic people value curiosity
As children, others instill in us the idea that asking too many questions is a bad thing. But the reality of the situation is a little different.
There are certain things that shouldn’t be asked until you get to a certain level of confidence. That being said, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask something.
Empathetic people don’t believe this world view. They get carried away by the curiosity they feel for the customs, experiences, and any knowledge the other person has.
So, the next time you talk with someone, ask them about their interests, dreams, and goals. This exercise will help you develop empathy. It will also make you see reality from the other person’s point of view.
3. They put their opinions to the test
Empathetic people don’t blindly maintain the same opinions their entire lives.
Instead, they listen and ask.
They understand that there isn’t just one answer to everything and understand that everyone has their own motives. They aren’t interested in being right all the time. Instead, they prefer to debate and exchange ideas.
At the end of this process, it isn’t odd for them to change their opinions or adopt some of yours. But, don’t get us wrong, they don’t do this to make you like them.
If they change their opinions, it’s because they really believe something.
To be more empathetic, talk with people who think differently than you on certain subjects. Listen to their ideas and give yours.
The most important thing is this process is that you don’t try to convince anyone that your ideas are right. Just listen.
4. They pay attention to what they say
The words you use are as important as listening.
Empathetic people understand that words are a weapon that can save or hurt people. Because of this, they are very careful about what they say.
When they speak, they do it without judging, demanding, or pointing things out. This even means that they’ll ask if they can give some advice before sharing it.
Sometimes, we don’t know how to tell the difference between helping and demanding. Because of this, when you’re talking with someone who’s going through a hard time, it’s important to use phrases like “I can’t imagine that” or “How can I help you?”
This way, the other person will feel that you really understand and you aren’t judging them.
5. They understand that everyone needs to be treated differently
Empathetic people understand that the saying “treat others as you would want to be treated” isn’t a rule. This is because not everyone wants to be treated the same.
Being empathetic means letting go of your arrogance and pride. It also means accepting that there is more than one way to be right.
Sometimes, we let go of someone because of a single attitude or experience. We don’t think about the story behind their actions. Maybe this was an insignificant experience for you, but for them, it could be a great emotional weight.
This doesn’t mean that empathetic people don’t make decisions or say what they want. Just the opposite: they explain what they feel or want, but they always keep their listener in mind.
With this in mind, do you think you’re an empathetic person? Would you like to be one? Try and put these characteristics into practice!