Thursday, February 25, 2016

Can You Teach People to Have Empathy?

Does a person need to be taught empathy? Or can they tap into their empathy themselves?

In an article from BBC Magazine, it asks if you can teach people to have empathy. I say yes, but no. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. People use empathy almost everyday. In fact, “According to the latest neuroscience research, 98% of people (the exceptions made with psychopathic tendencies) have the ability to empathize wired into their brains - a[ built-in] capacity for stepping into the shoes of others and understanding their feelings and perspectives.” (BBC Magazine)
People can naturally use empathy, so they don’t really need to be taught it. Or do they? It’s the same way people learn how to speak. They’re around speaking people, and they start to pick up the words. It’s the same with empathy. You’re around people that may (or may not in some cases) show empathy in a certain way, and you can start to pick up the way they show empathy.
So people do need to be taught empathy. But they don’t. It’s just like how you would raise a person, you have to show them the best example you can be. That includes showing the best example of empathy so they can empathize in the best way.
People do need to be taught empathy. It’s just that they don’t.