A key element that forms emotional intelligence is empathy, which belongs to the interpersonal domain. Empathy is one of the main characteristics of successful interpersonal relationships. It is a basic design of interpersonal communication, it allows for a solid understanding between two people and in consequence, it is fundamental to comprehend in full meaning the other persons’message and like that establish a dialect. The ability to infer the thoughts and feelings of others generate feelings of sympathy and comprehension.
Emotionally “Reading” Others
Empathy, it is not more than the ability of an individual to truthfully infer thoughts and feelings of others. It is what generates feelings of sympathy and comprehension. Many doctrines have considered empathy avery interesting phenomenon. In psychology, for example, its role serves as a cultural mediator to evaluate social conduct. It has been a topic of great interest in the fields of clinical, educational, social and personality psychology. Some doctrines (Joliffe and Farrington, 2006) define it as the cognitive ability that is innate to an individual; the act of taking someone else’s perspective,without necessarily adopting this same outlook; like putting yourself in someone else’s shoes even if the person doesn’t think like the other; to recognize and understand what others feel knowing that each individual has an own point of view. For others, on the other hand, empathy is empirical (University of Kansas, 1996); like an acquired experience that sets from the emotions of others through theperspectives taken from such experiences and of sympathy. Therefore; it can be inferred that it is the ability to be conscious off, to recognize, to comprehend and to appreciate the feelings of others. In other words; to be empathetic is to be capable of emotionally “read” other people. Empathy does, however, come across other abilities or capacities important in behaviors which include: qualityof interrelation, moral development, aggressiveness and altruism (Brems, 1989). It also includes an emotional response guided towards another person according to the perception and worthiness of the overall goodness of these arrays of empathetic feelings, like sympathy and compassion (Joliffe and Farrington, 2006). As a consequence this brings in two distinctions: Cognitive empathy; whichconstitutes a comprehension of somebody else’s internal state. And emotional or affective empathy; which involves the emotional reaction of the person observing the experiences of another and placing him or herself in the others place (Davis, Hull, Young, and Warren, 1987).
Empathy starts with motivation; which intensifies the motivation to “heal” the other person. A relationship between “being” and“empathy” exists. People are more likely to empathize with those whom they consider similar. Understanding this relationship can lead to understand why there is more empathy in certain situations when comparing them to others.
In a recent study of empathy (Brems, 1989) people who focused their attention in understanding the feelings of others and who engaged emotionally with them, experienced greaterempathic concern and offered more support. It is more likely for a person that experiences empathy for another, to react in an altruistic way, however, it doesn’t always happen this way. Could this be because third variables are present in certain situations, like for example, ambiguous circumstances? That is going to encourage or inhibit unselfish behavior. In study 2 performed by Batson et al.(1996) from the University of Kansas, it was found that the highest relationship between empathy and altruism exists when there is a relationship between two people and one of them is in need.
Within empathy we can see that in many cases people do experience that sentiment of understanding others, nonetheless, many other circumstances can be very influential. Most of the time people feel...