|Walking in someone else’s shoes|
I recently read a news articleon the subject of empathy, It was describing research carried out by Dr.Simon Baron-Cohen, the cousin of actor Sasha who reported that generally, women demonstrate empathy to a higher degree than men.
Empathy is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as :-
“The ability to understand and share the feelings of another”.
The empathy debate is complex some researchers say it has a genetic component, while others believe it to be the ‘nurtured’ side of our personality developed by parents.
Did you know we have two types of empathy?
Cognitive empathy is the ability to perceive what another person is thinking. “he must be telling herself this was a mistake.”
Affective empathy is the ability to sense what another person is emotionally experiencing. “She must be feeling upset about this mistake.”
There are many ways of developing empathy , for instance listening to different types of music can help you develop ‘Affective’ empathy‘
A good way of developing ”Cognative empathy” is to try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. ie how may THEY be thinking in a certain situation
Carl Rogers described empathy as :-
“An empathic way of being with another person has several facets. It means entering the private perceptual world of the other and becoming thoroughly at home in it. It involves being sensitive, moment to moment, to the changing felt meanings which flow in this other person, to the fear or rage or tenderness or confusion or whatever he or she is experiencing. It means temporarily living in the other’s life”
Carl Rogers – A way of being