Developing Empathy

In your opinion, what is the hardest part of being able to see, understand, and empathize with another person’s position or perspective? What might help you overcome those difficulties? Although this is an opinion question, be sure to use detailed descriptions and examples to support your answer.

References
Hays, K., & Brown, C. (2004). You’re on: Consulting for peak performance. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

SOLUTION

Developing Empathy
Getting to other people’s shoes is not an animal instinct. Neither is it a call of survival. However, it is a ‘courtesy call’ developed by human beings since they began living in society. In other words, it is natural for individuals to consider their interests first before empathizing with other’s perspectives.
Whereas it is positive to appreciate other people’s views, many people are socially conditioned into believing that adopting other people’s or more than one opinion is automatically wrong and that it is important to view things in only one way. Others just do not care; for example, there are a number of people who are just pricks and completely do not want to change their minds. Some individuals tend to get confused when they are presented with other people’s perspectives, but find it so easy to deal with only a single perspective. People with low IQ find a lot of difficulties dealing with diverse views. The more they get others’ perspectives, the more they get confused (Van Raalte & Andersen, 2002). To avoid any form of confusion, they abscond others’ perspectives.
The ability to see through other people’s perspectives is a facet wisdom that people develop through experience and reflection. Moran, a psychologist asserts that awareness of one’s current thoughts is necessary before deciding to change them (Winum, 200). Hays and Brown Jr. (2004) suggest that taking control of individuals’ attention is an essential factor in changing their thoughts and beliefs. Going by these schools of thoughts, I believe that those who present their opinions are capable of overcoming this difficulty. They must be aware of a person’s thoughts about an issue, use all possible ways to seek attention before giving a suggestion. It also takes time, patience and explanation to help a person see things differently.

References
Hays, K., & Brown, C. (2004). You’re on: Consulting for peak performance. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Winum, P. C. (2003). Developing leadership: What is distinctive about what psychologists can offer? Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 55(1), 41-46. doi:10.1037/1061-4087.55.1.41
Van Raalte, J. L., & Andersen, M. B. (2002). Referral processes in sport psychology. In J. L. Van Raalte & B. W. Brewer (Eds.), Exploring sport and exercise psychology (2nd ed., pp. 325–337). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.