Empathy: n. sharing a sensation(s) with concern and understanding for the bad and/or good circumstance(s) and/or event(s) with another and sometimes offering helpful advice and/or caring
Empathy is a learned skill which needs concern and an understanding of another’s emotional reaction to a bad and/or good circumstance and/or event.
Empathizing with a good circumstance(s) and/or event(s) is rather easy because it means sharing in the happiness or joy of the moment and words such as “great” and “I love that” may be all that is needed to show that you too are happy that something good happened to a fellow human.
You frequently need to detect disappointment, fear, sorrow, shame, revulsion, mental pain, and many more bad emotions which a human may have based on words spoken, facial expressions, and a history of similar reactions under similar bad circumstances and/or events.
“Putting yourself in another’s shoes” is a way of vaguely describing what empathy means.
Once you accurately identify the emotion and circumstances of another human which may require a few questions with answers, you can then proceed to calm and reassure the human or join in the celebration to show that you know how they feel and that you would have a similar emotional reaction to the circumstance(s) and/or event(s).
“I feel your pain” is another way of vaguely describing what empathy sometimes means for a bad circumstance(s) and/or event(s).
Sometimes showing empathy or giving emotional support is enough and it is all that is needed but sometimes a suggestion as to what to do differently the next time to avoid the emotional turmoil in the first place can be helpful advice.
Empathy basically means detecting and sharing good and/or bad emotions and sometimes offering helpful suggestions which will avoid bad emotions in the future or which will create more good emotions in the future. Not only helpful advice can be given but actual physical caring behavior can coexist with the emotional empathy.
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