In this day and age of normalising judgement – what does empathy look like ? Does it mean always understanding the perspective of the other person at all times or putting their needs and wants ahead of ours ?

4 thoughts on “In this day and age of normalising judgement – what does empathy look like ? Does it mean always understanding the perspective of the other person at all times or putting their needs and wants ahead of ours ?”

  1. Gayatri Srivastava

    Empathy is lending a helping hand, listening without judgement not necessarily agreeing with the person always

  2. Empathy is the ability to understand the inner world of others – their beliefs, emotions, intentions, values, goals, and personal experience. Understanding others’ thoughts and emotions does not necessarily mean accepting those thoughts as the right way of thinking.

    We as humans have the ability to distinguish between the emotions that we experience from our own experiences and those from the experiences of others. We also have the ability to distinguish between our own way of looking at the situation, i.e., our own perspective and the perspective of others.

    At a young age, we’re not very good at empathizing with other people’s point-of-view. Instead, we tend to think that everyone perceives the world in the exact same way that we do. But as we grow older, we understand that how we view the world is not necessarily the same as how someone else may view it. This is often the first step toward developing empathy.

    Psychologists distinguish two main components of empathy: cognitive empathy (knowing another person’s thoughts and beliefs) and affective empathy (knowing another person’s feelings and emotions). Some experts on empathy say that these higher levels of empathy lead to a third kind of empathy: compassionate empathy, where we are so attuned to the thoughts and feelings of others that we are driven to alleviate their pain and suffering through kindness and charity.

    We have evolved as social animals and our survival depends on cooperation and strong relationships. Back when we were hunters and gatherers, we had to work together to find food and provide security for one another and if anyone lacked empathy, they would be quickly ostracized.

    Empathy isn’t only relevant to building relationships, but also problem-solving and creativity. Being able to take on another person’s perspective can very often lead to answers and insight that we wouldn’t discover if we limited ourselves to our own personal, narrow world-view. Unfortunately, the inability to see things from another person’s viewpoint is the source of much conflict in today’s relationships.

    By practicing a technique called “perspective-taking,” we can learn how to better resolve these social conflicts. One of the main assumptions behind perspective-taking is that looking at a problem from multiple viewpoints is almost always more informative than looking at a problem from only one viewpoint. Individuals who are successful at building relationships are almost always great at perspective-taking, whether they realize it or not.

    While in the current day and age, it may seem that we are doomed as a human race, there is hope because of this ability of empathy that is hardcoded in humans. Sharing a video The Empathic Civilization, which I find very heartening:


    1. Well said Sonali and Gayatri- thankyou for your replies  – I too believe that perspective taking- allowing oneself to be vulnerable in expressing and receiving others point of view is the only cruciblethatll act as a catalyst to allow our society based on social control through judgement and evaluation to shift to social connection and belongingness.

  3. There is always a thin line. You need to make sure the person is getting the support and realises that they have to do their bit ..even if it’s little ..that’s how it improves.
    Keep the line of communication on. Check status quo and set expectations, motivate in a humane manner.
    When things improve it will be a win win ..
    Empathise but enable ..
    Hope this helps..

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