Hello everyone! I trust we have had a wonderful first quarter of the year? if no, not to worry the year only just got better for you!

On today’s episode of the Echoes series, we have an interesting topic “Empathy”. Wondering why we are talking empathy on a gender and development forum? You should find out soon enough. Keep reading.

Empathy is, at its simplest, awareness of the feelings and emotions of other people. It is a key element of Emotional Intelligence, the link between self and others because it is how we as individuals understand what others are experiencing as if we were feeling it ourselves.

Empathy goes far beyond sympathy, which might be considered ‘feeling for’ someone. Empathy, instead, is ‘feeling with’ that person, through the use of imagination. it is about defining, understanding, and reacting to the concerns and needs that underlie others’ emotional responses and reactions. Empathy is a skill that can be developed and, as with most interpersonal skills, empathizing (at some level) comes naturally to most people.

There are several elements of empathy but for the sake of this write up, we would discuss one.

  • Understanding others: This is perhaps what most people understand by ‘empathy’: “sensing others’ feelings and perspectives, and taking an active interest in their concerns”. Those who do this:
    • Tune into emotional cues. They listen well, and also pay attention to non-verbal communication, picking up subtle cues almost subconsciously Show sensitivity, and understand others’ perspectives.
    • Are able to help other people based on their understanding of those people’s needs and feelings.

You will agree with me that more empathy is displayed, the more peaceful our community gets. The more we all respect each other’s feelings and accept each other’s flaws. When we have empathy, we through our imaginations understand what people go through and then we know better than laughing at them, or mocking them or being violent. This way we, in turn, create an environment free from violence and gender inequality, here by creating a peaceful and just world!

Written by : Demilade Lawal

We are a youth-led non-governmental organisation set out to advancing human rights, advocating for gender equality, enhancing quality education through policy and developmental strategies.

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