What is empathy?
We have heard this word go around the internet and even in conversation when considering the emotions of others and those that surround us; but what is it really?
According to Lanzoni (2018), it is the ability to understand and experience the pain, happiness, excitement, sorrow, and so on of others. It is the ability to see the world through their eyes and comprehend their decisions along with the reactions to the world around them. Pretty powerful stuff, right?
However, empathy is much more than this definition.
So, a little history, the concept of empathy—or being able to comprehend and experience other’s pains—goes way back to the Greeks, more specifically, Aristotle. He believed that the human journey to happiness and humanity, consisted of being able to connect emotionally with others’ despair/happiness (Lanzoni).
As time has progressed, science evolved, and the implementation of psychology and psychotherapy, so has the concept of empathy. Empathy has actually split into two different concepts of comprehension.
There is emotional empathy and cognitive empathy.Read more