How to Be Empathetic: Top 5 Ways To Be More Empathetic

Last Update on September 1, 2021 : Published on July 18, 2020
How to be more empathetic

Coming this far, I feel we are living in a biased bubble wherein everyone is hard working like us, spending like us, worshiping like us, earning like us… but still lack one thing which is empathy. No wonder, people are more into sympathy more than showing empathy. And, I think this is where the problem begins. We think like robots now and reply like robots. We really don’t know how to be empathetic or how to practice empathy. We really lack empathy maybe because of homogeneous social circles or maybe because of biased nature. But, the good news is that we can develop empathy. In order to develop empathy, we can take steps to understand the actual needs. In this blog, we are going to discuss 7 ways to develop empathy. So, let’s get started

PS: On the Journey of developing empathy, you might be able to make new friends as well.

Empathy means putting yourself into someone else’s shoes which results in recognizing and understanding the thoughts we often share. In this blog, I have highlighted how to develop empathy in simple seven and effective ways

Top 7 Ways to Develop Empathy

1. Use Reflection

While someone is sharing their problems with you make sure that the questions you ask are open-ended which means they must not give a syllabic reply, the conversation goes through mutually. The open-ended questions will help you to understand the issue in a better way and will facilitate dialogues. Other than this, reflect on what they say is the most effective way to show empathy.

Reflection means an attempt to clarify what another person is trying to explain, do not repeat the same words. The use of reflection will help you to understand the issue and it makes the other person feel heard.

Read: Health Benefits of Hugging

2. Connect with the heart and target

While you listen to the other person make sure that you completely focus on their issues.  Additionally, avoid the use of any digital devices while listening and it makes the other person feel like he\she is sharing their thoughts with the right person. This approach is referred to as “connected knowing.” Try to get into other’s issues and start thinking accordingly is the finest approach one can use to develop empathy within.

3. Avoid critiques and judgments

Avoid critiques and judgments

Stating cliché phrases and pronouncements like move on, get over it should be totally avoided. The use of such phrases does not let you feel the actual distress or pain. To actually feel and understand the issue, you should dispense your criticism and analyses to differentiate between the actual problems.

It might be also possible that the other person does not want any judgment regarding the issue, he\she maybe just wants to share. Therefore, use your judgment power here and establish the need of the other person here, does he\she want help or they just want to share. If the person only wants to be heard, make sure to maintain the confidentiality and trust between the two.

Read: How to deal with Criticism Efficiently

4. Value another’s perspective

While listening with all the focus on the issue, you might differentiate between the wrong and right. But, do not share your thoughts on the problem until and unless the other person is ready to hear. Other than this, make sure that you do not judge or criticize, let them speak the heart out and value the perspective.

The value of this dimension of learning an empathetic language is really important and is directly related to the emotional component of developing empathy. Empathy is not only about engaging in the conversation but also feel the plight. During this, you actually feel “how would you feel if you were confronting the identical situation” which empathy means.

Read: 7 Simple Ways to be a good listener

5. Focus on the need and act accordingly

focus on the need

After listening to all the circumstances, now focus on the actual need of the hour and act accordingly. For example, if the person has lost a loved one, explain the loss and feel about it. If the person is going through a breakup, let them know that you are always there to talk. If the person experienced a loss in business, let them know that you are always ready to help.

6. Acknowledge the Feelings

One of the major problems I observed while teaching people how to be empathetic is that people do not understand that communication is the key and acknowledgment is the password to break the key. Acknowledging is all about recognizing the importance of feelings, conversation, or something else related to the conversation. So whenever someone says, “I feel so bad about XXX problem.” You have to acknowledge their feeling and ask them, “What’s wrong or what went wrong or I am sorry to hear or what happened?” 

If you will dismiss this emotion or will try to avoid their feelings, it will show that you are not at all empathetic or avoiding them. You really need to connect with the feelings of the other person. 

7. Do Not Run Ahead of the Conversation

Another thing that I have observed is that when trying, practicing, or pretending to be empathetic, people tend to jump to a conclusion or simply run ahead of the conversation without even listening to them properly. Whenever someone shares a problem with you, try to listen to them, reflect on their problem, think about it, and then reply with empathy. Do not jump on to the conclusion directly. 

In order to understand them with empathy, you will need to connect with the person emotionally and do not let the conversation be one-ended. A good approach towards having an empathetic conversation is to keep the conversation question ended instead of announcing the conclusion without feeling their emotions

Therefore, my motive in this section is to make you understand how to act according to the situation. Do not show sympathy, feel the issue, and act according to the situation.

I hope this blog helps you to develop empathy within you. Comment down and share your experience with us. For more such content, follow Calm Sage on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading and keep supporting others.

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".


  1. Aayushi Kapoor
    Aayushi Kapoor

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Keep reading more

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