Empathy can be described as:
- Identification with and understanding of another’s situation, feelings and motives.
- The attribution of one’s own feelings to an object. Or “establishing ones feelings to a particular person, animal, plant, building, etc.”
It almost looks like roots reaching from each side to the other. This is what really helps us to understand what the other is feelings and experiencing. In other words we connect ourselves into the other person…etc, and they into us.
Empathy is the ability to not only know or detect what others are feeling. But to alos experience that emotion yourself.
Empathy is a connection to the entire universe. In a class later on we will learn ways to disconnect ourselves from others emotional ties, so as to not be overwhelmed.
People who are Empathic can be and most times are sympathetic.
- Mutual understanding of affection arising from this relationship or affinity.
- A feeling or an expression of pity or sorrow for the distress of another, compassion or commiseration
History of Empathy
Empathy has been around since the beginning of time. Between men, animals, all of their surrounding, to the land they trod on. Then as time went on, people would go to empathy, and touch them, thinking by doing so they would be cleansed and healed, or cured from ailments or emotional takeovers. Thinking that the empathy would take on whatever ailed them so they could be whole again.
The word empathy meaning, feeling-in, was coined by the American psychologist, Edward Titchener. It was a translation of the German word-Einfuhlung. The theory of the Einfuhlung came to be in the latter part of the 19th century. Through the years more people have added their theories. Which all agree that empathy is not projecting one’s own feelings into someone’s own feelings into someone, but is experiencing feelings as though they are their own?
Empathy continues without rest, it doesn’t go away. It is an internal sense, gut instinct if you will. Empathic people are very strong, even though at times we fell so overwhelmed by it. Thus, trying to shut it out can bring on emotional imbalance. Once we realize it is that we fully understand another person’s pain and emotions, which is when we become our strongest. We no longer have to wonder why we feel their pains or emotions. Then we realize we are putting ourselves in their shoes.
Empathy starts in childhood, and is carried throughout our lives. Empathy is the ability to feel emotions, physical, and spiritual energy. This can be read as images or feelings. Empathic people sense things, which others can’t. Empathy are sensitive enough to read people. This sensitivity can sometimes be overwhelming. Once it is understood, then we can get a hold on it.