"Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting & communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.” Brene Brown
Being empathetic is not the same thing as being sympathetic, it is not just feeling badly for another person. Rather it is the ability to share and understand the feelings of another person while being able to put yourself in that person's shoes. Being empathetic involves developing a true understanding of another person's suffering.
It's critical that we teach our students the importance of developing empathy because empathy fosters healthy relationships, trust and social connection. Self empathy is also an important skill to cultivate while striving to improve the capacity to empathize with others. Notably, practicing empathy can be a driving force which can help a school community feel a greater sense of support and connection to one another creating a positive environment for learning and growth.
Developing empathy may be a simple concept, but it's not so easy to practice it on a consistent basis. The first step toward becoming more empathetic is to notice and become aware of opportunities where we can practice empathy toward others and ourselves. Being more empathetic requires practice and giving it our best effort without judgement time and time again.
Submitted by: Susanne Hallisey RN
~ See video below on Empathy ~