Empathy is a skill. Here’s how to cultivate it

"Empathy is something like a muscle: left unused, it atrophies; put to work, it grows."
man holds mirror reflecting sunset

The apparent trend toward division and away from empathy isn’t irreversible, according to new research.

Empathy is a skill that one can cultivate over time, Stanford University psychologist Jamil Zaki finds, and with the right practices, anyone—even the most close-minded individuals—can come to care about other people in healthy and sustainable ways.

While empathy offers numerous social benefits—for example, patients of empathic doctors are more satisfied with their care—empathy might not be a good thing, Zaki says. When healthcare professionals care too much, they are at elevated risk for burnout, depression, and trauma from over-empathizing with others’ suffering, he says.

These are some of the key findings to emerge from Zaki’s research into the various dimensions of empathy. Zaki has brought these insights, many from his own research, into his new book, The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World (Crown, 2019).

Here, Zaki talks about what he learned about empathy, from experiments he led in his own lab to the research and interviews he conducted for the book:

The post Empathy is a skill. Here’s how to cultivate it appeared first on Futurity.

Mehr von Futurity

Futurity1 min gelesen
How Stores Are Adapting To 2020 Holiday Shopping
Both retailers and consumers have struggled due to the pandemic. How will that change the 2020 holiday shopping season? Ayalla Ruvio, a professor of marketing in the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, and Kelsey Haines, an MB
Futurity2 min gelesen
US COVID Cases Could Reach 20 Million By January’s End
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases are likely to increase to 20 million by the end of January, nearly doubling the current level of 11.4 million cases, a new COVID-19 forecasting model predicts. Meng Liu, Raphael Thomadsen, and Song Yao of the Ol
Futurity2 min gelesen
See 2 New Pages From Darwin’s ‘Origin Of Species’ Draft Online
An extraordinary collection of priceless manuscripts of naturalist Charles Darwin goes online today, including two rare pages from the original draft of On the Origin of Species. These documents will be added to Darwin Online, a website which contain