Empathy is the ability to have compassion for others and relate to and understand what they may be feeling or going through.
Many people confuse sympathy with empathy, and although they’re very similar, there are some differences.
Some people learn better by example, and you might wonder what some good examples of empathy are.
Luckily, there are many great examples of empathy, so people can better understand how to recognize it.
“I’m so sorry for your loss, but I’m here for you if you need anything,” and “I can understand why you’re having such a hard time” are only two out of numerous examples of empathetic statements.
Here is an in-depth overview of empathy, sympathy, and more.
Many people have difficulty differentiating between sympathy and empathy, but despite what many people have been led to believe, showing sympathy towards a person instead of empathy can have a negative impact.
Sympathy causes a person to feel pity for someone, and no one wants to be pitied.
On the other hand, empathy makes a person feel supported because the other person is relating to what they’re going through and showing support instead of pitying them and making them feel like they’re not understood.
There may be more than one explanation for why a person is unable to show empathy or sympathy towards another person.
One probable cause is that the person is on the autism spectrum, as people with autism are sometimes unable to show emotion. While many of them do experience emotion, they’re simply unable to express it.
Another reason why a person may be unable to show empathy (or sympathy) is that they could suffer from anti-social personality disorder.
Anti-social personality disorder is a serious mental illness that is similar to psychopathology.
People with anti-social personality disorder are unable to experience emotion, although sometimes they can pretend that they feel emotion in order to trick others.
This personality disorder can be very serious, and people with anti-social personality disorder can potentially be dangerous.
They are known for committing violent crimes without having any remorse for what they’ve done.
There is not much chance of a person with no empathy changing, especially if they have anti-social personality disorder.
While this disorder is treatable to a certain extent, there is no cure.
People with this disorder usually start exhibiting symptoms during adolescence, when they might start hurting animals, committing crimes, and increasingly more serious acts.
There are different levels of empathy, as all empathy isn’t always expressed in the same way.
The first type of empathy is the ability to fully understand another person’s misfortune.
The second type of empathy is the ability to feel emotion in response to another person’s suffering or dire situation.
The third type of empathy is a person’s ability to regulate their own emotions in response to the other person’s suffering, as well as differentiate between their own emotions and the emotions they have for the other person.
In order for a person to be truly empathetic, they need to have the ability to master all three levels of empathy.
Apathy is the inability to experience any emotion at all, and not all people who have autism or anti-social personality disorder are apathetic.
Sometimes a person can experience apathy due to drug use or even depression.
A person who is apathetic may experience normal emotions again someday, once they’ve resolved the issue that caused them to become that way in the first place.
Many babies are able to experience some form of empathy by the time they’re 18 months old.
Infants and toddlers learn how to be empathetic and show other emotions through interaction with their parents, family members, and others who they’re around on a regular basis.
It wouldn’t be unusual to see a mom writhing in pain after twisting her ankle and her 18-month-old son giving her a kiss on her ankle and saying, “Mommy feel better.”
If a person feels that they’re lacking in the area of empathy, then there are some ways to increase their levels of this important emotion.
According to researchers, one way to improve levels of empathy is to practice meditation.
Another way to possibly increase levels of empathy is to read some novels that contain characters displaying a great deal of emotion.
Empathy is a very important ability to have, especially when you’re in a romantic relationship.
If you are unable to show support and understanding to your partner, then that is often a game-changer for most people.
If the other person truly loves you, then they may try to hang in there to give you a chance to improve, but if you continue to lack empathy, then a breakup is inevitable.
Common household pets like cats and dogs can have an immense level of empathy for their human families and even for other animals.
Have you ever been sick in bed and your cat, who normally likes to relax in her own space, decides to cuddle up next to you instead?
This is your pet’s way of showing empathy and trying to bring you comfort by lying next to you as you recuperate from whatever is ailing you.
You may have seen movies or TV shows in which a character is considered an empath or someone who is hyper-aware of other people’s emotions.
Is it possible to be an empath in real life, or is that only something that happens in superhero movies and TV shows?
It is true that empaths do exist. They don’t have superpowers, but they do have an amplified ability to detect others’ feelings.
Some people naturally have more empathy than others, so, while anyone can train to become an empath, in order to become truly successful at detecting people’s emotions, a person has to have some enhanced abilities in the first place.
If a person doesn’t have enhanced abilities to begin with, then it is highly improbable that practice will help a person to become a true empath.
Practice makes perfect, so if a person is truly determined to become an empath, then it is certainly possible.
There are many reasons why a person would want to become an empath, and the number one reason is that they simply want to help other people to better deal with their emotions.
Another reason why a person would want to become an empath is to increase the amount of “good” that they do in the world.
Furthermore, there may be some people who have experienced emotional trauma and are no longer able to experience emotion at all, and instead of feeling numbness, they would rather become the complete opposite.
It might be easy for a person to consider an empath weird because not only are empaths rare, but their behavior in response to all the emotions they regularly experience could be unexpected and “strange.”
People are often afraid of the unknown, and the average person has never met an empath since they’re so rare.
A person who is too empathetic might border on either being an empath or an overly sensitive or sympathetic person.
Some people care more deeply than others, but this can pose a problem. If a person is too busy worrying about others that they’re neglecting themselves, then that could be detrimental to their health in the long run.
As you can see, there are numerous great examples of empathy.
Empathy is often underestimated because most people take it for granted and assume that everyone has the same ability to show compassion for others, but that is far from being true.
Not only are there some people who struggle to show empathy at the appropriate times, but there are others who completely lack the ability to show empathy at all, especially when drug use, mental illness, or autism are present.