Psychology 180: Interpersonal Effectiveness
Professor Erica Wattley
October 10, 2012
Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills: Empathy & Empathetic Listening Empathy is the way you feel or understand another person; it is a deep emotional understanding of a person’s feelings or problems. It is as we often hear people say put yourself in someone else’s shoes. An empathic listener gives the other person his or her undivided attention. When being an empathic listener you have to focus on the words the speaker is saying and not let yourself be distracted. As you focus on what the person is saying, you can respond when needed. If you don’t understand what the person is saying, it is okay to ask question to get a better perceptive. One way of being a good listener is asking a question that summarizes what the person said to you. For an Example: A friend of mine, who’s Grandmother just passed away, as she was telling me why she was crying and upset, I made sure to repeat “You are upset because your Grandmother past away”. I followed that up with I am so sorry to hear that, I wanted to be a comfort to her. It is oaky to wait before you speak to give yourself time to make sure you have a clear understanding what the person said. Empathy is sometimes confused with sympathy which is feeling for someone, Empathy is feeling as someone. There are two concepts in empathy, the heart part and the head part. The feeling is the heart part and the head part consists of beliefs, values, opinions, attitudes and thoughts. When you have empathy for someone you enter into a person inner world. Empathy is a way of identifying with them. When you can identify with someone you will build a better relationship with the person, it will also help with others in different situations. When you empathize with someone it can help the communication and allow a more positive reaction.