Genuine empathy is in short supply, but there are people who embody it.
These generous souls have things they do that set them apart and make them a blessing for everyone they come across.
We could all learn so much from empathetic people and how to become more like them.
Because the truth about genuine empathy is that it’s a win-win mentality that leads to a far better life than pure self-interest.
Let’s dive in…
1) Honesty in relationships
Honesty is an important quality across the board, but nowhere is it more crucial than in relationships.
Those with true empathy don’t lie to those they love.
They have felt that bitter sting and they don’t want to be anywhere near being the source of it for somebody else.
They tell the truth, speak their mind and keep open lines of communication with their partner.
Lying or obscuring the truth isn’t an option.
2) Kind compliments come naturally
Empathetic individuals aren’t stingy with compliments and appreciation for others.
It comes naturally to them.
They note the positive qualities in others and choose to focus on them.
This is a massively empowering habit that draws others to them and creates strong bonds of affection and trust.
3) Consideration for the needs of others
Empathetic people are observant about the needs of others.
They don’t just charge ahead like a bull in a china shop. They look around and notice who else could get cut by all the shards of broken pottery.
They care about what’s going on in the lives of others, and not just on their social media channels.
4) Respect for others regardless of social status
This ties into the previous point, because it’s all about genuinely caring about other people.
Truly empathetic folks don’t look at the size of somebody’s wallet or their social status.
They know that a rich man with all his material needs met could be an inch away from ending his life out of loneliness and a poor man without enough to eat might have wisdom outshining the top Harvard-educated lawyer.
Their empathy for the unique challenges of others isn’t dependent on the class or social status of those individuals.
5) Making friends and showing an interest in others
Even if they don’t share the same interests or beliefs, they make a real effort to reach out.
The empathetic person knows there is far more that connects us than what divides us.
And they bring this faith in humanity into their interactions and friendships.
6) Letting people know they care
Empathetic people find meaningful ways to let others know that they care.
This could be a phone call when somebody really needs to talk, a short-term loan or a recommendation to a therapist they know is good.
It could be their time and energy in helping somebody deal with a physical health challenge or find work.
Empathetic people aren’t handing out charity, either.
This is about helping because they want to, in exactly the same way they know other people would help them in their hour of need, too.
7) Hard working and conscientious
Empathetic people are hard working and conscientious.
They want to do a good job because they know that loose ends create headaches for all involved.
They bring integrity and honesty to their work and ask the same of others, helping navigate ethical dilemmas with a moral surety that’s rare these days.
8) Persistence and encouraging others not to give up
Empathetic people bring their own can-do attitude to others and encourage them to keep going even when things are tough.
Sometimes this extra bit of support is all it takes to encourage somebody not to give up.
Other times more is needed and the empathetic person will see what else they can do.
But they always encourage others not to throw in the towel.
9) Active listening and hearing unexpressed needs
What people say is one thing, but hearing what they really want and need is something else.
Active listening is a key habit of the empathetic individual.
They hear what somebody is saying, but they also hear the unexpressed needs and motivations behind what’s being said.
This extra sensitivity to what somebody is saying helps others feel heard and feel safe to open up more and establish trust.
10) Bright smile and friendly body language
Empathetic people go through problems just like anybody else, but they try to have a bright smile when they can.
They also display friendly and open body language.
They’re sending the signal to people around them that they are non-threatening, confident and open to being approached.
The message is all about mutual respect and making sure their body language is welcoming and inclusive.
11) Generosity with possessions, time and energy
The empathetic individual is in danger of burnout at some points due to their generosity.
It’s important they keep in mind their own needs and priorities.
Nonetheless, the instinct of the genuinely empathetic individual is to spend time, energy and even material possessions on the welfare of others.
They really care, and they aren’t stingy about showing it.
12) Optimism and a positive vision for the future
Empathetic people have an optimistic core.
They aren’t always positive or smiling like a Cheshire cat, but they are generally upbeat and have a proactive vision for the future.
They are mission-oriented and doing their best to live a purposeful life and help others do the same.
13) Consistency and emotional stability in the face of change
Empathetic individuals go through all sorts of challenges and disappointments of their own.
But they do their best not to take this out on others and to maintain their emotional stability.
They know that everybody is going through something, often unseen battles that can’t be seen from the surface.
By doing their best not to add to the problems of others, they act as a reservoir of calm in a world of chaos.
14) Willingness to show mercy and forgive the wrongs of others
Empathy sometimes comes down to a very simple decision:
Do you give somebody a second chance or not?
When a person apologizes sincerely for harm they have done to you, do you forgive them?
Those who are deeply empathetic are willing to give a second chance, because they know that all of us would like to be judged by our desire to be better rather than by those moments when we are at our worst.
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