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What Does Empathy Mean?

by Charles Pearson

Empathy is a healthy act that helps increase the strength of relationships. Showing empathy also helps others cope with emotional situations. Empathy is a part of building strong emotional intelligence.

Identification

Empathy is the understanding of the emotional state of another individual. Empathy is different from sympathy, as sympathy does not necessarily involve understanding.

Showing

The emotion that another person experienced must be experienced by the person showing empathy. Those who wish to express empathy can show the physical indicators of empathy, such as crying, and explain how the emotion feels.

Acknowledgment

The feelings of the individual must be acknowledged. Emotions can be identified and acknowledged by asking questions about the individual's feelings.

Noticing

Empathy involves being sensitive enough to someone's feelings that those feelings can be identified by the empathetic person without being told.

Conscience

Empathy is related to feelings of guilt and remorse. Those who block feelings of remorse and guilt often lose the ability to feel empathy.

About the Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer since 2009. He has a B.S. in literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written the ebooks "Karate You Can Teach Your Kids," "Macadamia Growing Handout" and "The Raw Food Diet."