Empathy; It is a concept that most of us hear, make sense of and adapt to our lives. When we hear the word empathy, the first explanation that comes to mind is; It’s about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. So, is being able to empathize such a simple act?

Most of the time, we think that we empathize, we offer ideas on behalf of our interlocutor or judge in our minds with our own views, our own philosophy or our understanding. Well ; yes, I put myself in his place and I wouldn’t do it like that or I would do it like that. We can convince ourselves that this is also an empathetic approach. Of course, explaining empathy and being an empathetic person is not that simple. At the same time, there are two concepts that empathy is often confused with; these are “sympathy” and “emotion contagion”. Sympathy; It can be explained as the desire to feel sorry for a situation that someone else is in or has been through, and to act to make the person feel better.

Emotion contagion, on the other hand, is unconsciously and automatically starting to imitate another person’s emotional state and causing these emotions to appear in oneself. Just like a grandmother who watches a TV series integrates herself with the character of the TV series and laughs while she cries and laughs. They differ from empathy in this sense because empathy is a conscious event and the empathizer is aware that the emotions he understands belong to the other person. He does not perceive these as his own feelings.

Empathy; It is the ability of a person to be aware of and understand another’s beliefs, desires and especially emotions by isolating himself from his feelings and thoughts. The person understands the other person so well that he/she starts to feel like him/her and identifies with him/her. In order to have fully developed empathy, one must do more than understand the emotional state of the other person.

What can be done to be an empathetic person?

First of all, since emotions are generally directed towards an object or event, the empathizer should understand what this situation or object is.

• Next, it should determine what kind of effect the emotional state of the person is in perceiving this object.

Finally, he should be aware of what he feels physically and should be able to analyze the point of view and emotional state of the person in front of him by bringing all these together.

In addition!

Enabling the person to concentrate on their own emotions first. Thus, the person begins to better understand which emotions are associated with which situations. Role-playing, role-playing exercises It enables the person to look from different perspectives and be open-minded, to prevent superficial solutions to problems and to avoid rigidity of belief, and to gain cognitive and personal flexibility.

Continuous and repeated practice of trying to imagine and perceive the perspective of others, being exposed to an emotionally stimulating event, will allow the person to better understand the situation in which the person interacted with the same stimulus.

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