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Empathy

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I was going to write about Empathy – as I began to do some research into it’s meaning and how it relates to Kindness and it’s effects in the culture.

Well I’m going to do a small post as there is so much that I would like to share.

Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s position. There are many definitions for empathy that encompass a broad range of emotional states. Types of empathy include cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and empathy. Tasha Rube, LMSW wrote an article about it. Co-authored it.

Empathy-altruism

This is from my dictionary:
The social exchange theory states that altruism does not exist unless benefits to the helper outweigh the costs. C. Daniel Batson holds that people help others in need out of genuine concern for the well-being of the other person.  The key ingredient to helping is “empathic concern

Batson recognized that people sometimes helped out of selfish reasons. He and his team were interested in finding ways to distinguish between motives. They came up with these two reasons.

  • 1) Empathy Specific Reward: Empathy triggers the need for social reward which can be gained by helping.
  • 2) Empathy Specific Punishment: Empathy triggers the fear of social punishment which can be avoided by helping.

With these definitions it’s something we learn as we grow, when we experience sorrow like a losing of a family member, friends co-workers we can sympathize and start to heal, understand or have empathy for all those involved.

Things you can do to show your empathy are really simple things like:

+ Giving someone a hug if they are sad

+ Call them up and see how you can help them.

+ Offer to make them some chicken soup

+ Offer your presence of comfort even if you don’t say anything

+ Connect with others, share a laugh or two

+Take care of yourself as well in the process – being kind to yourself

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