One of the most neglected human behaviours
is empathy. We seldom put our selves in the shoes of others to
understand their feelings. What we often do is that we form an
opinion about others by what they express instead of
understanding why they express a particular trait.
Empathy can change our entire outlook of
people around us.
At times, our near ones like our parents,
spouse and children behave in a way that seems out of the
normal to us. We expect something different from the response
they actually give. This is because at times we do not realize
what actually is bugging them or making them behave
differently. We have to put ourselves in their place and then
evaluate the situation. Many a time we would agree that in the
given circumstances, their behaviour was justified and it was
we that needed to revise our expectations.
Similarly, if people are angry with us or
express their anger at something which is seemingly needless,
a deeper analysis may reveal the reason. As a result, we may
appreciate this anger and may end up having sympathy and
support for such people. We may realize that the anger may be
overblown but it does have a valid basis and maybe we can do
something to help that person. At once, a persona non grata
becomes a bonafide individual in our eyes.
One of the greatest benefits of empathy is
that it brings us closer to our fraternity, especially those
around us. Instead of being put off by their attitudes and
behaviour, we end up coming closer to them by analyzing what
has made them adopt a particular unexpected or abnormal
A second benefit is that an empathetic
person is not impulsive in his response. He thinks deeply
before he expresses a response because strange behaviours from
his peers induces him to find out the reason behind it. If a
person can train himself in this virtue, it will help him a
lot in every sphere of life. He is never reckless and
impetuous. He becomes cautious and circumspect.
A third benefit is that the culture of
empathy in a society makes it a heaven on earth. People become
caring and helpful to each other. A personality behaves in
totality. A person who is empathetic will find himself always
accommodating the needs of others and adjusting to straitened
Finally, empathy is an indispensible trait
for a leader or a person in a position of responsibility. He
will win the confidence of those who look up to him.