As we go through our lives, one of the most important things we learn is how to connect with people. No wonder we, humans, are known to be “social animals.”
Feeling heard is a human need, and all of us want to feel understood.
Often when I would have an argument with someone, I would almost find myself preparing my response instead of genuinely trying to listen to them. But I now realise that people don’t want to hear your “logic” all the time. Sometimes, they just want to be understood. Like we all do. Empathy is something that helps us get in touch with our feelings and hence gives us an emotional understanding of others around us.
Or at school, I would always want to be seen as the ‘smartest’ amongst my friends. And so I would brag about my grades, step on the feelings of others, and be just so full of myself. I now realise that people don’t care about that. We would all rather want to be around people who understand us, people who have the ability to be happy for us, and people who can connect with us emotionally. It is not always about being the best and the most ‘perfect’ person in the group, it is so much about being a kind person who is always ready to help others, be there for others, and appreciate others with a big smile on our face.
We should be kind because it makes us feel good about ourselves. I can think about the days I do good things for other people. Helping them with the maths homework we get in school or simply listening to their troubles in life. These make me feel warm. I feel like I have accomplished something. I feel like I have a purpose in life. I may have hundreds of dreams to fulfil but nothing makes my heart happier than knowing that I make a difference in someone’s life.
Empathy works so well because it doesn’t require a solution. It requires understanding – when we step outside our own emotions to view things from the perspective of others. By thinking outside ourselves and feeling others, we develop a medicine this world needs.