REAL LIFE

5 Signs That You Are An Empath And Why It's So Important

Date December 18, 2018 10:00

If your eyes start to well up while watching Hachi: A Dog's Tale or you always give some change to the homeless in the streets and feed the stray animals, it doesn't necessarily mean you're an empath. Compassion is quite a vague notion. So who are empaths? Let's figure it out.

What is empathy?

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Empathy is an ability to relate to another person: "put yourself in their shoes," live and understand the emotions the individual is experiencing, unlike ordinary compassion which can be expressed in an altruistic attitude to life. For instance, if you're ready to listen to your friend's problem and you briefly comment something like "I understand," "I'm sorry to hear that," "You'll get through this," while simultaneously scrolling through your social media feed, you are unlikely to be an empath. But if you are willing to listen to your friend with full attention, take into account his/her situation, and even give a shoulder to cry on, genuinely worrying about another person's problem and feeling sad about the situation, congrats, you're an empath!

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This ability can sometimes enhance your worries, making them overwhelming. Therefore, your empathy level always needs some sort of control as you can't help everyone. People of melancholic temperament are more prone to it.

Empathy signs

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  1. You can see the world through the eyes of a person in need of compassion.
  2. When you listen to other people's problems, you stay unbiased and you never judge or tell them what to do.
  3. You don't just listen, you understand the person the way he or she wants to be understood.
  4. You find it hard to read the news or watch TV because you get really upset when you hear some bad news.
  5. It doesn't take you much time to figure out the person's problems.

Why empathy is important

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Relating to another person is an important evolutionary skill that has developed in society. Empathic people tend to have more prosocial behavior, such as heroism and altruism. The good news is that empathy can be developed like any other skill. Those who learned to feel other people's pain from early childhood make great psychologists and spiritual leaders; for example, Mother Teresa or Buddha.

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Now you know that empathy is a deeper feeling than just compassion or sympathy. Can you relate to other people's grief or the hardships of fictional characters? Tell us in the comments below.

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