Photo Credit: Tori Kennedy via Pinterest
With much divisiveness in our world, empathy is something that is definitely lacking for many. When empathy is cultivated, it can truly be powerful. Empathy grants us the ability to understand how others may be feeling or thinking. It also helps us to feel more connected to one another. There may be times where we struggle with empathy of others, especially when we may hold biases. However, empathy is something that is needed for human kind. If we lack empathy for one another, how can our society find connection, collectively heal, and grow? If empathy is something that you struggle with, here are 5 ways that you can strengthen your empathy muscle:
1. Remain Curious
Curiosity is something that can help us to become more empathetic. Lean into curiosity about others' experiences and backgrounds. Visit new places and be present in your conversations with others.
2. Examine any biases or blindspots that you may have
As human beings, we all have biases. It is important that we examine them while also challenging them. You may have more in common with others than you may think.
3. Talk to others
Have a conversation with the person sitting next to you and really listen to what they are sharing. Explore the things that are important to them. By doing so, you'll learn of similarities or differences that they may have with you. Be present in those conversations.
Reading about the different lived experiences of others who have different backgrounds can increase our capacity for empathy.
5. Allow yourself the space to lean into vulnerability
When it feels emotionally safe to do so, becoming vulnerable with others is both a special and intimate way to increase connection and empathy for one another.
Without empathy, we lose connection. We can become so distant and disconnected from one another, which is why empathy has the power to change the world. Although many of my blog posts have a heavy emphasis on self-care, I really want to highlight the importance of community healing. For our collective to find harmony, we must lean into empathy. It is through empathy that we can alleviate our challenges at the individual level while also having a better understanding of the problems that the collective experiences, such as global warming, systemic oppression, war, etc. Despite the many challenges that we a society are facing together, I still have hope that empathy can bring us healing.