Simply defined as putting ourselves in the shoes of others. Often mistakenly linked to or referred as sympathy, however, they totally differ.
Empathy can be considered as one of the underlying principle of the ‘Platinum Rule’ which means treating others as they want to be treated.
Sometimes we are caught unguarded by people’s reaction to what we have just said or done. We wonder what have gone wrong, what have we said that might have offended the other person, what actions or expressions have we projected for this person to explode in anger and disgust? Or is it just our face that cause the disruption? No matter how rigorous we put our mind into thinking the real reason behind, we will definitely fail to decipher it unless we learn to empathize.
This leaves us always into two choices. One is to blindly continue justifying our actions and keep convincing ourselves that we have done no wrong. Or apply empathy and discover what we missed. Only then that we will fully understand why. Susan Sarandon says, “when you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you.”