This booklet addresses the issue of empathy in the care environment, for paid carers or volunteers.
Empathy allows you to have a better understanding of the person you are caring for. This booklet covers four practical ways to get you thinking along the lines of empathy, with helpful examples from within the home-care environment.
Some people are blessed with a natural gifting (or ability) of empathy. For the rest of us, empathy is something to learn – a new way of thinking. It is getting outside of our own emotions, behaviours and feelings and considering things from another persons point of view.
This booklet guides you in the first steps towards having more empathy with those you care for.
Empathy is a character trait that must be nurtured. Start teaching children when they are young and they will grow up being able to understand others who are struggling.
Discuss empathy in everyday situations
When you first begin to teach your young children about empathy, you will have to explain what it means. For example, if your toddler hits a playmate and takes his toy, discuss with her how she would feel if a friend did that to her. Point out people who are feeling sad and discuss why they might feel that way. Ask your children what they could do to help. If a family member is sick, encourage others to help him or her in little ways.
Making your children more aware of times they should be empathetic will help them learn to feel empathy on their own. Be open to the things and experiences they discuss with you.
They will have disagreements with friends and feel wronged. Help them see both sides of the situation and apply empathy.
Join Joanna Macy, Dan Siegel, Vandana Shiva, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Noah Levine, Shambhala Sun Editor-in-Chief Melvin McLeod, and other international activists, contemplatives, and scientists for this gathering focused on one of the most dynamic and critical topics of our time: compassion. (See the complete list of presenters here.)
Compassion is “radical” when it moves beyond “being nice” or giving to our favorite charity, and becomes the very foundation of all our actions, the signature of our society.
Living with an open heart, meeting the world as it is, and cultivating compassion in action – these are some of the themes of this transformative weekend.
It might have been pure coincidence, but last month, Bill Drayton, speaking at Toronto's MaRS Discovery District and Bill Gates at Stanford University in California, made separate cases for why empathy is so important to the social change movement.
Before I zoom in on the specifics of what Drayton and Gates said, here’s a bit of background. The term ethical empathy has its roots in philosophy, the premise being that without the capacity for empathy, individuals may inadvertently harm others. In the healthcare field, the concept has been utilized in the training of physicians for some time, the focus being on developing doctors with a high capacity for empathy, ensuring they put themselves in their patients’ shoes when making critical health decisions and ultimately providing the best care possible.
Being more empathetic is one of my parenting and personal goals this year, so I started digging more deeply into this concept to understand how to put empathy into action....
The thing is, though, I know how to be empathetic -- as a psychotherapist and parenting educator, I teach others how to do it.
Empathy is a parenting cornerstone, it provides the foundation for emotional development in children.
Some days, even though I know how to do it, it takes a long time for my own instructions to turn into action. I have stared at my melting-down children and glazed over, momentarily not even caring how they felt.
President Bill Clinton—who invented the role of the president as “Empath in Chief”—is the great exemplar of both the strengths and the weaknesses of political empathy.
In domestic politics, “I feel your pain” worked great for him at the ballot box. But in foreign policy—after the initial success with the 1993 Arafat-Rabin signing on the White House Lawn—the failure at Camp David in 2000 demonstrated how empathy could not bridge fundamental disagreements between adversaries.
From Israel’s perspective, the trouble with Kerry’s urgings that it—once again—empathize at all costs with Palestinians is that empathizing with a psychopathic enemy like Hamas, blinded by hatred to everything but revenge for real and imagined grievances, is that you, too, will end up blind to your own self-interest including your interest in self-preservation.
Can racial injustice in America be overcome by fostering more empathy in our culture? Perhaps, but there’s a lot more to it than that, panelists said at a Fordham event on Feb. 24.
“All of the efforts of generations of civil rights activists to transform the American conscience cannot succeed without empathy,”
said theologian Rubén Rosario Rodríguez, one of the panelists. While empathy is not sufficient by itself, he said, “empathy is not something we’ve tried hard enough. Empathy is something that needs to be nurtured over time, and it cannot be legislated.”
The event, titled “Is Empathy Enough? Racial Justice and the Moral Imagination in the 21st Century,” posed questions about why racial injustice persists 50 years after the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act.
There's a huge difference between sympathy and empathy, between "I'm sorry" and "I've been there." It's not that sympathy is bad, not at all. It's just that empathy invites a connection sympathy simply can't.
Sympathy says, "I feel sorry for you," while empathy declares, "I am you." Sympathy requires you to find compassion -- from a distance -- for another's misfortune. Empathy demands that you revisit your own pain in order to relate to someone else's. Scott Stabile
The next time you're inclined to sympathize, see if there's really an opportunity to empathize
I) Listen, listen, listen. The idea is first you really listen; then you react. Listening is hard work and everyone can get distracted. Even when we get distracted, we need to pull ourselves together and get back on track to the best of our abilities. During listening, to listen effectively...
1. One must stop comparing himself to the other person. "My experience was harder than his." 2. One must stop remembering his own experience on the same subject while the other person is talking. 3. One must not consider the verbal give and take as intellectual debate with the goal of putting the other person down. 4. One must not think he knows everything, so he doesn't need to listen to the other person. 5. One must not laugh off what the other person is saying or try to change the topic before it gets too serious. 6. One has to stop trying to read the other person's mind. 7. One has to stop thinking about his next step or his answer before the other person finishes talking.
It's not easy to be authentic in front of a classroom or crowd, but it can be essential to creating lasting impact in teaching -- especially when teaching about empathy work.
Empathy is an essential skill to connect with the people and world around you.
It is also so much more than even compassion- to be truly empathetic one has to feel how it might be to be in another’s place. So how can we teach this skill, and how can we simplify it enough to teach bit effectively to children?
The most effective way to teach it is experientially- and the most fun way is through the arts.
Applying these five principles will help your children become empathetic adults that are sensitive to the needs of others.
Empathy is the ability to feel what another person is feeling. When you think of parenting and discipline, instead of thinking just of correcting misbehavior, think about all of your long-term goals for your children — helping them become kind, civic minded and empathetic people.
1. Be sensitive to your child’s emotions... 3. Teach through example... 4. Listen... 5. Set limits...
Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the New England Transcendentalists, was very influential for me as a teenager. I have found many of his essays and aphorisms to be very useful, both personally and professionally. The one pearl I have gotten the most mileage out of is from his essay Love, written in 1841: “Each man sees over his own experience a stain of error, whilst that of other men looks fair and ideal.”
When we compare ourselves to others, we may feel better or worse.
It may be more useful to minimize comparison and instead consider our connections to one another and all life forms on the planet if we are working toward building a healthier relationship to the self.
Although some of these growing pains are unavoidable, there is a great deal that parents and other influential adults can do to encourage steady growth in empathy, which is a key component of other-awareness and relational wisdom.
Here are few practical tips on how to help children develop this quality.
Recognize your unique role as a parent...
Weave the gospel into daily life...
Use Bible stories to illustrate empathy and show that this quality is pleasing to God (e.g., Ruth 1:7-19; 1Sam. 20:41)....
To examine whether narcissists could be capable of empathizing with another person’s suffering, they asked study participants to read an excerpt describing the break up of a relationship.
No matter how severe the hypothetical scenario was, high-narcissists did not show any empathy for the subject. This was true even in situations where the subject of the excerpt suffered overwhelming depression.
Researchers then asked study participants to take the perspective of the target person. .....
This indicates that it may be possible for narcissists to empathize with others in the correct circumstances. They key is encouraging
I decide to conduct an experiment, a simple experiment in empathy. I ask myself, is it possible, in spite of how insane and dead-wrong this storeowner is, that I could -- in some way -- begin to empathize with him? Just before bed, I write a list of how I imagine he might be seeing the issue -- and at first, it's physically painful to write:
1. Though I totally disagree with his policy and his intransigent stance, I must also admit that I don't know a damn thing about running a store.
============================ After the phone call I feel like a tiny tear in the fabric of my own humanity has been restored. All through this simple experiment in empathy....
Australian Design Alliance: promoting the use of design to boost Australia's productivity through innovation.
Registration is now open for Series 4 of the University of Technology Sydney’s Creative Intelligence Labs (UTS:CI Labs).
The theme of Series 4 is The Future is Human: Realising Empathy for Change, co-directed by globally recognized innovation and creativity leaders Annalie Killian and Craig Davis.
The UTS:CI Labs is a dynamic, immersive, studio-style program designed to introduce the practices of creative innovation by allowing participants to experience them through the context of real problems and projects. Participants explore with us new ways to think, drive change and innovate, to develop better solutions to the complex problems we face in today’s world.
At the conclusion of a new one-day course I just finished leading (an Introduction to Emotional Intelligence), I asked the participants to take a few minutes to assess the class and their biggest value of the day so as to help me as I continue to refine the class content.
I am raising the subject mainly because the idea of empathy needs to be more embedded than ever as we negotiate a very difficult peace process. The negotiations no longer exist in theory; they have become a reality. I am still aware of a lack of empathy among some of the stakeholders in the negotiations.
Empathy is about getting to the heart of the problem.
It is associated with a willingness to reach a negotiated settlement, which is in turn associated with the possible cost of a failure to achieve an agreement.
Aung Naing Oo is the associate director, Peace Dialogue Program, Myanmar Peace Center.
What is empathy? What does it really mean? What does it look like Karla McLaren is an award-winning author, researcher, and pioneering educator whose empathic approach to emotions revalues even the most “negative” emotions, and opens startling new pathways into the depths of the soul.
She is the author of The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life’s Most Essential Skill (2013),
The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You (2010).