Knowing how to communicate with empathy

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Knowing how to communicate with empathy -

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Since we were born, we communicate.

Sure, as infants in rudimentary form and not always understandable by whoever we want to make ourselves understood. So much so that new parents, with their (sometimes desperate) attempts to decipher the “encrypted” messages of the baby’s crying or to “explain” something to him, are often the butt of jokes to defuse the tension generated by not being able to communicate.

When it comes to communication between those who do not yet use words (babies, in fact) and those who only use verbal language (almost all adults), or between people who speak two different languages, the difficulty or impossibility to communicate.

But are we sure that it is equally obvious to be able to really communicate even among people who speak the same verbal language and have functioning hearing?

Judging by the misunderstandings that arise on a daily basis, it is not at all.

Indeed, the more we believe that the other person has received the message that we think we have conveyed to him by speaking and do not verify it, the less likely this is to be the case.

And you get to speak the same language without understanding each other.

Communication is a very complex process, which involves not only the use of words and gestures, but also the way in which they are said and the way in which each of the interlocutors understands the same words, and even more the system of beliefs related to the subject of the conversation and the state of mind of both the speaker and the listener. In short, there is much more than just saying a lot of words to each other.

Sometimes saying the words takes us away from understanding each other, which would instead be the primary purpose of verbal communication: to facilitate understanding.

Who among us has not had the demonstration in their life of how disastrous misunderstanding in communication can be, both in the workplace and in the private sphere?

Being a good communicator is a learned skill, you are not born there. Some seem to have some greater predisposition, but if we look closely it is almost always evident that they are more trained and have a strong intention to communicate.

Then there are people who are good communicators in the specific workplace, but in the context of family, sentimental or friendly relationships they feel the ground shaking under their feet. And vice versa: there are those who are unable to “quail” with communication in a certain working environment, while in private they can.

To communicate really well it is not enough to have a sufficient logical intelligence quotient, but you need a good level of emotional intelligence quotient.

A A particular skill of emotional intelligence is very useful in communication: empathy.

Empathy is a fundamental social skill in mutual interactions, and it is also present in the animal world. The human being is a social animal, e the main function of empathy is to create the network of relationships around itself.

It is therefore useful not only to establish relationships, but also to maintain them, and that they are rewarding and satisfying for both parties. Indeed, some individuals are adept at obtaining unilateral gratification and satisfaction (such as, for example, narcissists who only want it for themselves, or their opposite who create gratification only in others).

One of the simplest definitions of empathy is “the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes”which could be described as lthe ability to enter another person’s state of mind and understand its deepest content.

But beware, without confusing with the other person: is not synonymous with being “sensitive” or “emotional”. In that case we can speak of so-called negative empathy, which consists in getting “sucked up” by becoming excessively involved in the emotional experience of the other or by projecting our emotional response into the other by interpreting it as hers.

Be empathetic it is a competence that includes two types of competences:

1. cognitive empathy: the ability to perceive the perspective different from one’s own in order to understand the other, and for this the ability to decentralize oneself (be less ego-centric) is necessary;

2. Emotional empathy: the ability to share with the other what we are perceiving of his experience and his interaction with us, including our experience.

Both capabilities are closely related to language. They influence each other.

How we use words, choosing words to use, and listening to each other’s words is crucial to establishing empathic contact. And vice versa: empathy is essential for choosing when to listen and when to speak, which words to choose and how to use them.

A good communicator is empathetic. Empathic communication can be trained, and it is a strategic skill for building quality interpersonal relationships, as well as being indispensable in almost all working environments.

The more difficult the conditions, the more empathic communication is needed. Under easy conditions, the more we use empathetic communication, the more new enriching opportunities flourish for all parties involved.

And you, can you communicate with empathy? Share your point of view in the comments! This too is empathy.