The easiest thing in the world is to feel like you can’t relate to other people. It’s easy to think that you alone are unique and have a completely original perspective. You might be. But everyone does. And there is much more that binds us with our neighbors than that which divides us. People often forget that, and it leads to a lot of conflict. It seems that our default state isn’t to think in those terms, and so we must make the effort and treat others how we wish to be treated when we get the chance to.
Empathizing more readily with others, then, is not just a nice thing to do. It can be thoroughly important for our own mental health, and societal health at large. We all know how nice it feels when we’re looked at with empathy and not judgment. We all seek it. So, how can we grant that to other people? How can we, without becoming naive, try our best to understand where others are coming from? No matter if you wish to learn more about what physical conditions people deal with and the remedies they use to handle them, to even thinking about the opposite side of the political spectrum to you – it’s important to get your bearings. Let’s consider how:
Don’t Be So Quick To Judge
It’s important not to be so quick to judge. Judgment isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because we have to do it to understand who is worth our time, who might be harmful, and who is behaving in a manner you deem appropriate. However, it’s important to not be so quick to judge others at this time. Remember that everyone has an internal life so complex and nuanced that a quick reaction isn’t always necessary. So – rely on your first impressions, but don’t feel bonded to them. This can help you understand that most people aren’t actually evil or ‘wrong.’ Funnily enough, that philosophy can help you forgive yourself more, too.
Think, Think, And Rethink
How do you know what you know? It’s important to think, rethink and to take the time to challenge yourself. It might be, for instance, that you’ve come onto your own political ideals because of what feels right. That’s a good start. But it’s also important to check into the facts and figures, or to seek to challenge what you know, and to listen to other people, giving them the benefit of the doubt. If anything, this can help you begin to reinforce your own views, or you’ll be better able to counter bad ones without falling into vitriol. Think, think and rethink if you can.
Don’t Fall Into Easy Narratives
Don’t fall into easy narratives that seem too convenient to handle. For instance, it does seem that right now, the political divide in the Western world between right and left means it’s very easy for people to consider ‘those folks’ as evil. Are they? Is it not too convenient to simply assume those you disagree with are evil? Shouldn’t you be holding yourself and your ‘side’ to a better standard? This can help make your thinking more complex, no matter if it falls in or out of the political sphere. This helps you empathize. If more people did this, the world would be a much better place.
With this advice, we hope you can empathize more readily with others, no matter what.