3 Types of Empathy & Quick Steps To Be Empathetic

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What have we generally known about empathy? To be able to put ourselves into somebody’s shoes right? But there’s more to it. There are types of empathy not everyone is aware of.

We want to be empathetic. Sometimes we even try to be empathetic, but we don’t know what type of empathy we are making use of.

People go through a lot. We go through a lot. But nobody comes to know the conditions. And some people who try to check on you, fails at being empathetic.

So, what are the levels of empathy? And how can you make use of them to understand someone or help someone?

Well, don’t worry. That’s what I am here for.

Before we proceed to the levels or the types, understand why is empathy important?

Why Is Empathy Important?

types of empathy

Empathy is important so you can clearly understand the conditions and feelings of others to be able to help them better. If you are a businessman, you need to be able to understand the needs of your customer for the growth of your business. If you are a friend, you need to understand their situations to be able to help them resolve the issues.

How you react to the situations of people creates an image about you in their mind. Your perspectives on life and on them gives them a hint about how good of a friend or a person you are to be able to help them with things.

So, you must consider empathy as an important skill for personal growth.

3 Types Of Empathy

We are always told to show empathy and not sympathy. People would even taunt, ‘be in someone’s shoe before you judge them’. Because every one of us expect understanding, a helping hand and not sympathy. But as I said, there’s more to empathy. It has types not everyone is aware of.

So, if you are an empathetic person, you can check here which type of empathy do you generally make use of.

1. Cognitive

How many people have you met who actually read your mind?

Who understood your perspective and invested time to think from your point of view?

Cognitive empathy is just the same. It is perspective taking. A person who can understand you and can think from your perspective without engaging with your emotions. But then it doesn’t really go with the definition of empathy.

If we look at its definition, you are empathetic when you understand how someone is feeling and engage with their emotions. But in cognitive, you only put yourself into their place and understand what they must be going through without engaging.

2. Emotional Empathy

Emotional empathy is an extra empathetic ability. A person will engage emotionally with someone and acquire their emotions.

Supposedly, you saw a friend crying a lot for some reason. When you hear them talk, you too will get into tears. Because you engaged yourself with their emotions.

Even if you all are not together, you will still feel their emotions. You will feel the same as they are feeling. If they are low, you will get low too because you are so much emotionally empathetic towards them.

I feel, this one put us in the same situation as they are. It shouldn’t be made use of that much. I agree it is natural, but once you know you show emotional empathy then that can be improved for your better health.

On the other hand, it is also good when someone’s happiness makes you happy. If your partner achieved a great success in something, you will be jumping all around too.

3. Compassionate Empathy

Now, compassionate empathy is a mixture of cognitive and emotional empathy. When a person put himself into someone’s place plus feels their emotions and have a desire to help them in any manner possible, shows compassionate empathy.

I believe, we all should show compassionate empathy. That is what is actual empathy for me. When empathy abilities consist of perspective taking, feeling emotions and have a strong desire to help them with their issues, creates better relationships with people, customer or friends and family.

Showing just cognitive empathy may make the other person feel, ‘this person can understand but is not here to help.’ Emotional empathy may make the other person conscious of not sharing their emotions again because you start to feel their emotions too. But in compassionate empathy, a person understands, feel emotions and take an action to help.

I guess all of us look for someone who can show compassionate empathy, but definitely people may also like just cognitive empathy.

So, these were the three types of empathy. I am sure you must have realized the kind of empathy you show usually.

Here Are The Ways To Be Empathetic

  • Accept the facts that they are going through tough times
  • Appreciate that they reached out to you
  • Invest time in understanding the issues before reacting
  • Calm them down
  • Tell them you are there and will be there
  • Think from their perspective
  • Direct them towards the right path
  • Help them take an action
  • Listen before putting out your perspective
  • Encourage, support and speak positive

This way you can be more empathetic and encourage better relationships.

If you found this helpful or If you want me to cover specific contents, do let me know in the comment section below.


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