Empathy is the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner, according to www.merriam-webster.com.
In this society, empathy is not taught in an encouraging manner. Being empathetic is viewed as a weakness, but in reality, if used correctly, it can be a major strength. It is important to also remember that empathy and sympathy are two very different things. Empathy is putting oneself in another’s shoes, while sympathy is viewing someone else’s hardships from one’s own perspective. Empathy can encourage productivity in the workplace, create safer learning environments, and better personal relationships if used in a safe and rational manner.
In the workplace, being understanding of fellow employees and one’s employers will not only benefit them, but oneself as well. It would increase productivity by creating a safer working experience for everyone present. Also, it would create a positive environment and better the employee morale of the company.
In an educational setting, empathy is extremely important. Students need patience and understanding in order to feel motivated and encouraged. At times, students may feel rushed or inadequate, resulting in a lack of motivation and confidence in their learning abilities. If peers and teachers consistently practiced empathy, the concept of learning would not seem so intimidating to some students.
While empathy can be a great tool, it can also be overused. Acting on a situation with purely emotion is not productive and can cause unnecessary drama. Also, taking on other people’s emotions to the point of emotional trauma to oneself is another issue to be wary of when practicing empathy.
Overall, empathy is a useful tool in the world of effective communication and efficient workplaces and educational settings.