Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.
Contemporary researchers often differentiate between two types of empathy: “Affective empathy” refers to the sensations and feelings we get in response to others’ emotions; this can include mirroring what that person is feeling, or just feeling stressed when we detect another’s fear or anxiety. “Cognitive empathy,” sometimes called “perspective taking,” refers to our ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions.
Empathy is a vital part of communicating with people and understanding other people’s perspectives and feelings. Only when we can do this do people feel loved, respected, and understood. We can listen without agreeing. But only when we are active in expressing empathy will people believe we have heard them.
Dr. Norman Wise will provide biblical and practical guidelines on learning how to practice empathy as part of listening. This skill is vital in conflict resolution and in evangelism.
Join us on May 8th at 5:30 PM.