I have been practising improving my empathy for more than 4 years.
As I learned and explored the subject, I tried all sorts of things to try to get better:
- I read and practised all 7 empathy keys found in “The Empathy Effect” book by Helen Riess.
- I became curious about my feelings and the power of vulnerability, after reading “Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown.
- I talked with more than 600 people worldwide to understand their backgrounds regarding empathy and human connection.
And all of these things helped me a ton.
But if I had to start all over again (as a beginner), I would do it this instead:
Step 1: Be curious about my feelings
Self-empathy is a great starting point to mastering empathy, however, it requires understanding our feelings first.
Step 2: Study evolutionary psychology
It gave me a profound perspective on what is behind some behaviours I used to consider irrational and what I could do to improve my behaviour.
Step 3: Challenge my perspectives
To close the gap between myself and the “others,” it has been crucial to expose me to content that challenges my perspectives and try to stretch myself into their context.
When you’re starting, these are relevant for exploring more complex matters.
I hope this can be of use to any of my fellow empaths 🙂