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Two women sit on a bench, one has their head on the other one's shoulder. They are facing away from the image and look out over the grey concrete landscape.

Why Is Empathy So Important?

Think about the last time you were going through something challenging, wishing only for someone to understand your point of view. You were in need of empathy at that moment, a concept that is becoming more ubiquitous in society, yet remains underrated.

As a society, our collective consciousness is evolving and becoming more understanding, egalitarian, and respectful. One thing that we can all do to make this world a better place is to practice more empathy – a practice that will lift the vibrations of everyone around you.

With the challenges we’ve collectively faced this year, now is the perfect time to up our empathetic game and create a universal vibration of love and harmony.

Unfortunately, empathy isn’t taught in school, yet we are so familiar with empathy, even subconsciously, that we tend to take it for granted. If we shine the spotlight on empathy and make it a conscious decision to practice it, we can begin to raise the vibrations of our global community.

Let’s take a moment to learn more about empathy – including the pros and cons of being a natural empath – and discover why we all need more of it.

What Is Empathy?

We all want to be understood. In times of challenge or crisis, we need to feel like our emotions are accepted and recognized by others. Empathy is “the ability to emotionally understand what other people feel, see things from their point of view, and imagine yourself in their place.”

Have you ever confided in a friend and found yourself met with confusion or even judgment? Most of us are familiar with the feeling of being brave enough to be vulnerable only to be misunderstood, left feeling defeated, or scared to open up again. If you’ve experienced this feeling, you might already know why empathy is so important to practice.

While empathy can build closer bonds and deepen intimacy, there are also downsides to being overly empathetic.

A couple holds hands on a beach and walks on the sand as the sun sets.

Pros & Cons of Empathy

While empathy is a wonderful thing to practice, there may be some downsides. It’s important to find a balance between being empathetic and being neutral because certain situations require less empathy and more of a detached approach.

Pros

The importance of empathy can not be emphasized enough.

The pros of being empathetic include building stronger relationships through trust and respect, better understanding from allowing us to put ourselves in other people’s shoes, being able to understand those around you, and letting others know that you care.

People will appreciate your willingness to try to see things from their point of view. It also makes it easier for you to understand the motivations behind people’s behavior when you can put yourself in their shoes. People are more likely to confide in and trust you when you’ve shown them that you’re empathetic to their situation. You show people a sense of compassion and tenderness when you’re willing to practice empathy with them.

Beyond this, empathy is important for learning to regulate our own emotions allowing us to express, process, and understand how we are feeling. This emotional regulation builds our emotional maturity and, at the same time, helps us connect to others. It augments us in our reality and teaches us the processes of right versus wrong and consequences in our lives.

Cons

Being too empathetic, on the other hand, can cause some problems. In fact, a high sense of empathy can prevent you from acting in certain situations when you need to. For instance, someone who’s just witnessed a car crash may be so overwhelmed by empathetic emotion that they neglect to call an ambulance or the police.

Surgeons are another example of people who need to dial back their empathy to save lives. A surgeon cannot allow themselves to practice empathy when they’re operating on a patient, or their emotions may lead to a fatal mistake.

On a more mundane level, empathy can drain your energy supply. Just ask any empath how they feel after a day spent with other people, especially those who are suffering.

An empath surrounded my emotional energy.

What Is an Empath?

While empaths and empathy are certainly related, they are separate entities. Empath expert Dr. Judith Orloff explains, “having empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain. But for empaths, it goes much farther. We actually feel others’ emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have.”

For most people, practicing empathy is a choice, but for an empath, feeling the emotions of others is a natural experience that they cannot turn on or off.

Being an empath makes it easier for you to naturally understand the emotions and moods of others, however it can make it very difficult to move about the world without taking those emotions on for yourself.

If you’ve ever walked into a room full of shouting or angry people and felt your own mood worsening, there’s a good chance that you’re a natural empath.

It’s important for empaths to protect themselves and work on building their psychic shield, or they may become emotionally overwhelmed.

Feeling drained? Protect your emotional energy by learning How to Create Healthy Boundaries.

How Can an Empath Protect Themselves?

If you are an empath yourself, you probably already know how draining it can be to expose yourself to other people’s emotions. However, there are many ways that you can protect yourself from external negativity.

Balancing the chakras is an excellent way to build a protective shield around your spirit. Try practicing a chakra healing meditation. When you’re finished, visualize a healing orb of white, glowing energy surrounding your body – this is your protective shield. If you find yourself feeling depleted throughout the day, simply close your eyes and imagine your shield glowing all around your body with healing, white light.

You can also carry stones like tiger’s eye and prehnite, as these crystals are protective, and they prevent external negativity from sinking into your spirit.

Empaths can also try Deep-Level Emotional Healing With Reiki.

How Can the Rest of Us Amplify Our Empathy?

If you’re not an empath by nature, it might be harder for you to try to connect with and understand the emotions and feelings of your loved ones. To increase empathy, try balancing the Heart chakra in particular. This chakra rules your center of love and understanding. When your Heart chakra is aligned, balanced, and open, your compassionate side will naturally emerge.

Try working with rose quartz as well. This is a crystal that not only connects to the Heart chakra, but it also promotes unconditional love. When you have rose quartz in your left pocket or near your aura, you’re filled with the desire to share love and kindness with the world around you.

So, Why is Empathy So Important?

Everyone wants to feel like their emotions are understood and accepted, and being empathetic towards our friends and families is an excellent way to let them know that you care. By bringing more compassion and understanding into the world, we can create more harmony than ever.

So, close your eyes, take a deep breath and let your heart lead you to a more empathetic state of being – not only for yourself but for your global community.

Don’t be afraid to feel! Feel it all because All Emotions Are Good Emotions

Rhiannon Liselle

Rhiannon Liselle

Rhiannon Liselle is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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