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The Effect And Purpose Of Empathy Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1740 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In relationships, people were around often found something unpleasant emotional problem sometimes or needs to be understood by someone, then how to deal with these situations. “Empathy is the cognitive process of identifying with or vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” (Verderber, 2004, p. 211). Empathy is an important element in understanding and maintaining good interpersonal relationships. Therefore, empathy is tried to understand and experience that other people experience what is the kind of understanding. Sympathy and empathy are different, that is change the role of empathy seek to understand each other’s experience, feeling, thoughts and attitudes. When empathizing, there was representative the position of the position has already been converted in another person’s place to try understand what is happening to other. But that will might find it difficult to avoid making judgments when is listen to someone else’s problem, it is fail to empathize with others, however, that is also fail to understanding with other. So that have to exactly what must do to listen with empathy and more approaches or how to improving. (Seiler, 2005, p. 150).

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In the addition, when empathizing, empathy has identified some different approaches that people can use. That is empathic responsiveness, perspective taking, and sympathetic responsiveness. Firstly, “Empathic responsiveness is experiencing an emotional response parallel to another person’s actual or anticipates display of emotion.” (Verderber, 2004, p. 211). For example, when employer tells employee will lose their job, employee will have experienced empathic responsiveness. Employer should be senses the sadness of that employee, that deeply sad feeling is the feels of employee. The empathic responsiveness approach is the most easy to use, when people have a close or intimate relationship with other person, they will have a strong relationship bond between each other, which can identify more easily with the other’s feelings, emotion and experiences it along with other. So back to the example, if they have a good relationship between employer and employee, the employer may know what the employee is feeling. The position of the employer should understands and feelings the employee feel, employer has to empathy the feelings of employee is loses their jobs. Clearly understanding of feelings of employee is a point of a successful employer must be known. So in general, empathic responsiveness is most easily with close person with each other. (Verderber, 2004, p. 211).

Secondly, perspective taking is one of approaches to empathy, that defined is “imagining yourself in the place of another.” (Verderber, 2004, p. 212). That means is with another position of imagination, consider the situation of other, feelings of others is expected, and then assume that other people will feel similarly. For example, imagine if the employer was fires, and is expected to what the experience of their emotions if that is happens, the employer will be feelings same with that employee, then that is using empathizing by perspective taking.

Sympathetic responsiveness is the one of approaches to empathy, “a feeling of concern, compassion, or sorrow for another because of the situation” is the defined. (Verderber, 2004, p. 212). Sympathetic responsiveness is differs with other two approaches before. That is no attempt to experience and understand each other’s feelings or imagine be in the place of another, however, that is rather focus on emotionally understanding what the speakers has said and experience feelings of concern, compassion, or sorrow for the that person. (Verderber, 2004, p. 212). For example, if the employer have sympathy and understanding of employee when employee is feels like embarrassed and worried, and also trying to feels emotions or experience of employee, employer will feels concern and compassion for that employee, relationship for both of them will be build up to each other . “So these three approaches will be able to make accurate judgments in the cognitive process of identifying with or vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and attitudes of another.”

Beside that, empathizing is hard to communication with other from different culture, especially with strangers. So empathic listening will improve the ability to empathize. Listening skills also is including one of approaches. “Listening with empathy occurs when have listened to what someone else is experiencing and seek to understand that person’s thoughts and feelings.” (Seiler, 2005, p. 149). The most effective way is by listening to feelings of other people to want to hear the voice inside the heart, which try to understand and know what it was, people or things from the perspective of others to feel and reflect these feelings back. (Hybels, 2001, p.85). So what is the procedure of empathizing, “show respect for the person by actively attending to what the person says; concentrate on observing and understanding both the verbal and nonverbal messages, using paraphrases and perception checking to the aid; experience an emotional response parallel to another person’s actual or anticipated display of emotion, imagine yourself in the place of the person, feel concern, compassion, or sorrow for the person because situation or plight.” (Verderber, 2004, p. 215).

Furthermore, empathy is as important as element of effective interpersonal communication and the listener also is very important too. And empathy is closely related with a listener task, listener’s task have to be put away their own feelings and prejudices as those of others to listen what they speaker talking about. Listener must be to do this, listener need to know and understand what the feeling by speakers say out their mind is and listen carefully the speakers say what had happened, and then comforting sympathy or encouragement to help find a solution of the problem. (Hybels, 2001, p.85). Identify the emotions is often the most difficult part for listener, listener needs to listen carefully and know what the speaker is really saying that real meaning. For example, an employee in the matter of unhappy encounter some setbacks, the employee is too excited that wanted to kill the employer. That employee said that apparently has no plans to kill the employer. In the case, it is reasonable to assume that the speaker is feeling angry. If someone responded to that employee, or someone will try to replace the role of that employee to think, let that employee to say out what has happened, there might the tragedy will not happen.

Moreover, listener’s task besides listen attentively, also want to use an empathic-listening response way to reach is through paraphrasing, restating the other person’s thoughts or feelings in the words. Back to the example, let the employee say out the whole story, listener is no need to respond with more or specific, just wants to be listened to, and show the interest and concern if listener listen and look sympathetic, let the employee finish the whole story, and discover other feelings in addition to anger. “This response not only helps identify the feelings; it also helps find out whether the hearing accurately and shows that is paying attention. A paraphrasing response provides a mirror for the other person’s remarks.” (Hybels, 2001, p. 86).

Again, sometimes listener just listening for people’s feeling and explains how to solve the problem. People are feel better when their after frequently want to vent their feelings, but sometimes just listening is not enough. The last one in empathic listening is to give the person a chance to work out the problem. Empathic listening is includes helping the other person find a way to solve the problem. In the case of that employee, the important has to solve the problem. So listener has to use the good attitudes to help that employee and have the ability to help that employee to deal with the problem. To be a good listener is required to taking on more responsibility and rather focusing on solution with that employee, also have to try focusing on feeling and listening empathically, so that is the responsibility of a good listener. (Hybels, 2001, p. 87).

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Therefore, everyone also a different point of view but they only stand at their own angel to see their own view. They are not use the time to assess property; it is very easy to make assumptions and jump to conclusion. This often leads to misunderstandings, bad feelings, conflict, poor morale and even divorce. Without empathy, people do not feel heard ad understood. So empathy is so important on our daily life. Beside that, empathy also so important in the workplace, if without empathy, people will not thought other person’s feeling, thought and attitudes, and also including all experience moods, pain and hurt, joy and sadness. To be a leaders must seriously using the empathy to understand what the person is thinking or feeling by not trying to change or amend, and empathy to solve the problems, understand what the person think or feel, people feel valued, they will feel safe. For the example, when the employees feel value, they are feeling safe. So that indicates employees are more productive when they are feel valued.

In the following, Here are some steps that describe how to improve effective management tool for sympathy. However, the empathy skills must be learned, which can help the parties get more involved and understanding.

-Remember it is better to learn how to become an empathetic person. Your communication skills will only become better. You social awareness will only become better. Your ability to relate to other people and understand their point of views, will become much better. No one says changing is easy, but when you know there is something you need to change about yourself, taking the steps necessary is a good idea

-Empathy is a choice. We have to choose to improve, to care, to get out of our own way, and to bridge the gaps between us – generations, cultures, religions, socioeconomics, etc. Empathy allows us to be fully human and gives others permission to do the same.


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