Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thinking and Empathy

To maximize your ability to think, you are required to learn empathy Empathy is more than understanding how another thinks, you are asked to embrace the feelings behind what they think. Many try to avoid empathy because there are pitfalls:

  • Empathy requires crossing emotional boundaries by opening up to the thoughts and feelings of others.
  • Empathy can suck you into a black hole of irrationality or madness of another as you try to better understand why they think they way they do.
  •  Empathy can change what you think and believe.

Empathy takes practice. You learn how to balance the vulnerability that comes from sharing the thoughts and feelings of others with your ability to derive information from the experience of doing so. A few ways to practice include:

  • Talk to a stranger at a grocery store shopping for a food you know you dislike.
  • Engage a homeless woman into a light conversation.
  • Watch a news station whose views you do not share.
  • Participate in an online discussion with those who do not share your opinions.
Eventually, your skills in empathy may advance to the point where you can even empathize with family members who drive you crazy!