And how you can show empathy in every aspect of life
“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” — Alfred Adler
Alfred Adler was born in 1870 in Austria. He was a famous doctor, psychotherapist and founder of individual psychology. He found the right words, to sum up, the reasoning behind empathy.
The world is slowly losing their empathy. A study from 2012 showed that college students are showing less empathy. The numbers are astonishing; a 40% decline to the previous decade.
These statistics speak for themselves. We are changing as a society. We struggle to show empathy. We don’t feel for others. Empathy might be one of the most valuable resources for us as humans. And we need it every day.
But how can this change? This year has been a stark reminder to all of us, how we tend to fight for ourselves and show our independence.
Our brains and bodies can learn empathy. Even if we’ve never learnt how to put empathy into practice, we can learn to be empathetic people.
If we have empathy, we can do marvellous things. Conflicts are solved, friendships are rekindled, partners are encouraged, students are motivated, and customers are happy.
But how can I learn empathy? One way is by learning new vocabulary and phrases. Let’s look at 10 common ones and find out why they show that you’re an empathetic person.
Empathy affects all areas of our lives. To prove this, we will look at 2 examples of how we can show empathy to others. Here are the categories I chose:
Let’s get started.
Empathy Statements for Friends
Our friends are dear to our hearts. We can’t choose our family, but we definitely can decide who we want to have as friends.
Friendships are like rollercoasters. There will be highs and lows. It’s of great value to listen to your friends when they’ve been through a tough time. The way you respond to their suffering might make or break your friendship.
So here are 2 phrases you might want to try to say the next time your friend is going through a rough time.
#1 I can see how difficult this has been.
#2 I hear what you’re saying.
Both of these phrases show how you can identify with their pain. You are there for them all the time. You are willing to listen. You understand your friends perspective.
Showing Empathy Towards Partners
We spend most of our time with our partners. It’s no surprise that sooner or later, an argument or dispute will arise. In those moments, it is elemental to the relationship that you can show empathy. Try your very best to understand your partners' view.
#3 Things are tough right now, but I’m here.
#4 What you’re saying makes so much sense to me.
These two phrases have helped me feel appreciated. They’ve shown that I am loved, and I am cared for. These phrases can be tough for men to say.
But if they can express their feelings for their significant other, the partner feels encouraged, motivated and cared for.
Expressions of Empathy towards Students
Studying is one of life’s biggest challenges. You learn so much in just three years.
Every student will struggle sooner or later during their studies. Teachers and Lecturers can bond with their students by thinking of their perspective. As a result, Students feel encouraged by their teacher. Great Teachers care about their students. They want them to do well.
The next time you talk to a student about a problem they’re struggling with, try one of these phrases.
#5 What you’re saying makes so much sense to me.
#6 I know you feel like giving up right now, and I’m glad you aren’t.
I’ve had an empathetic teacher before. He was very popular and great at solving conflicts.
Statements of Empathy for Customers
My daily work involves work with customers. It wasn’t always easy to diffuse an unhappy customer. A proven technique to getting them on your side is: “agree and outweigh”.
If you can show how much you appreciate their time, you will be in their good books.
#7 Your patience here has been so important.
If you can show how much you appreciate their time, you will be in their good books. Patience is hard to come by. That’s why this is one of my favourite phrases to say.
#8 Our mistake has cost you a lot of time and money. Let me make it right.
Admitting to failure is really hard. If you show you’re committed to fixing the issue, your customer will be happy. You’re showing that you care about their needs and wants.
Ways to Express Empathy towards Colleagues
Colleagues are like family. You don’t get to chose who you want to work with.
This means you will need to figure out a way to deal with them in a caring manner. You will need to show empathy, even when you don’t feel like it.
#9 If that happened to me, I would feel upset too.
If my boss said that to me, I’d be over the moon. This kind of empathy lacks from highly educated people.
This encouragement is great to receive on a bad day. When everything seems to be going downhill, this simple sentence will make anyone’s day a lot better.
#10 I know it isn’t easy to deal with stuff like this, but you handle it so well.
If you’re new to the project, you’ll face a lot of challenges. In a few weeks, you’re expected to understand everything you’ve been taught.
When you receive a comment like this one, you will be motivated to fight the challenges.
Empathy doesn’t solve problems.
I hope these 10 statements on empathy made you think of how you might share them with your friends, partners, students, customers or colleagues.
One last thing I’ve noticed over the past years is that empathy isn’t about solving problems. This might not be what us men like to hear, as we are born as problem solvers.
But empathy is all about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Ask yourself the question:
“If I was XY, what would I feel like right now?”
And we all know that only practice makes perfect. So give empathy your best shot. Try to show empathy in your daily life.
Thanks for reading!