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Walk a day in someone else’s shoes: empathy is likeability factor No. 3

Empathy is....
your ability to recognize, acknowledge and experience other people’s feelings

Think of films or books that have moved you to crying or laughing, applauding. You have felt another person’s pain or joy. You see life through the character’s eyes and you are sensitive to his or her feelings, desires, ideas and actions. The secret lies in imagination to boost your empathy factor.

If you’re sympathetic, you feel compassion for another but it’s your feelings. If you’re empathetic, you are projecting yourself into another’s heart as though you’re in that person’s shoes. The first step toward understanding how others feel is recognizing their emotions. You can’t fake true understanding of another’s feelings.

People convey seven types of emotion via the face

Three regions of the face that communicate all these emotions are the forehead, eyes and mouth.
See www.timsanders.com/7faces

Press mute
And listen. Think about what other people say and how they must feel. Concentrate on the other person’s feelings and keep yourself, your situation and your feelings out of a listening conversation. If someone always replies with a similar story or situation, I’m pretty sure they’re listening only to be able to give a response about their own feelings or experiences.

Rudeness and incivility convey a lack of sensitivity and empathy.

Post 6 inspired by ‘The Likeability Factor: How to Boost Your L-Factor and Achieve Your Life’s Dreams’ by Tim Sanders.


These are some good ideas, but I disagree with part of them. The blog says "The first step toward understanding how others feel is recognizing their emotions." My claim is: The first step toward understanding how others feel is recognizing and acknowledging our own emotions. We cannot be empathetic about an emotion we are not capable of experiencing ourself. We also need to be aware of our emotions that are triggered by the other, because of judgements or experiences we have already had of them. It is possible to be empathic with someone we are angry with, but only if we are aware of our anger and successful at setting it aside. The only emotions we have direct experience of is our own. Empathy should always be tempered with humility because we can never be sure we have a true understanding of another's feelings.