Sylvia Morelli is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab at Stanford University. In her current research, she examines the neural and behavioral basis of empathy and perspective-taking, as well as the neural responses associated with feeling understood by others.
We held a wide ranging discussion about the nature of empathy, and herwork on researching it. In a recent study and paper, Sylvia explored the neural and behavioral consequences of feeling understood.
Sylvia says, when we are understood, or empathized with, the pleasure centers of the brain light up. In other words, feeling empathized with feels good. "Behavioral research has demonstrated that feeling understood by others enhances social closeness and intimacy, as well as subjective well-being. In contrast, feeling misunderstood can be harmful to social relationships, leading to loneliness and isolation. However, it is still unclear why and how felt understanding exerts such a powerful impact on both interpersonal and intrapersonal well-being"
Via Edwin Rutsch