How does one listen empathically? What is empathy? First, to be competent at empathetic listening, one must be able to experience empathy and be able to vicariously feel aforementioned feelings. Empathy is the ability to imagine oneself in another person's place, furthermore, be able decipher and apply those feelings towards another person. Empathy is what allows human beings to be just that; human beings. Humans are separated from other creatures because of the cognitive brain. Animals and computers are not able to experience, think and problem solve like their human counter parts. There are five main benefits from empathetic listening: 1. It builds trust and respect between individuals.
2. Enables individuals to express emotions.
3. Reduces tensions between individuals.
4. Encourages individuals to express and surface certain information. 5. It also creates a conductive environment for problem solving.
Empathetic listening is merely a tool in the human repertoire. It is odd that many more people in the world do not engage in such behavior. I have found that most people will ignore feelings of others and talk about themselves. However, I feel that all of this can be avoided if people would actually practice empathetic listening within their own confines. Empathetic listening is very difficult to do if one does not practice at it. It is awfully difficult and challenging to speak with another person and not want to talk about your issues, as well. People often cannot talk to another person without bringing up themselves. I believe the solution is to practice at it, and actually put forth the effort into actually listening to their loved ones with empathy.
I have found that the hardest part of trying to listen empathetically is not actually listening. There are really two distinct parts of empathetic listening: listening and vicariously living those experiences. Most people when they are talking about a situation to another do not...