Empathy

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EMPATHY

EMPATHY
Empathy is described in Webster’s dictionary as, “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner”. In my personal opinion empathy is simply putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. When we are able to fully understand and comprehend what someone else is feeling we can be effective listeners and provide them with all the attention that they require. Empathy is an important skill that we need to master to be effective in many fields. In the field of psychology, empathy is a crucial skill that needs to be mastered. In psychology, you are constantly listening to the problems of others and you really need to show empathy to the patients so that they know, they are being fully comprehended. When we are speaking to our friends we have put ourselves in their shoes to reassure them that we care. “Empathic listening is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding and trust. It is an essential skill for third parties and disputants alike, as it enables the listener to receive and accurately interpret the speaker's message, and then provide an appropriate response” (Salem, 2003). When one listens empathically we are providing others with a new level of trust, which in turn can lead to better relationships with others. Empathy is being able to express through verbal and non-verbal expressions that we are truly focused and understanding what an individual is expressing to us. “To effectively experience empathy requires the development of several skills and attitudes including imagination, open-mindedness, and commitment”. (Alberts, 2009) Empathetic listening when speaking to everyone is a new task that I have to practice to be better at. Although, I am in the healthcare field I...
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