The Royal Academy of the Spanish Language defines empathy as the feeling of identification with someone or the ability to identify with someone and share their feelings. This is one of the requirements of emotional intelligence, it is related to compression, support and active listening.
In this article we want to delve into the relevance, scope, and impact of empathy on personal growth. We will somely deal with empathy in childhood, here are articles to delve into the topic, and empathy in teaching, as well as some general issues.
Empathy and development of people
From the psychology of development the concept of empathy is defined as a multidimensional construction, in which the cognitive component is taken into account. This includes the recognition and understanding of others’ emotions and an emotional component, which consists in sharing affection or indirect response.
To interrelate with our fellow men, we must do so without causing conflicts, from respect for rights, to the feeling of others, their emotions, ideas, and knowing how to listen carefully. That is why empathy is so important because it affects social behaviors, such as the relationship of family, partner, friendship, aggression, altruistic behavior, attitude towards strangers.
One of the functions that empathy performs is motivation, as it amplifies or intensifies the motivation to alleviate someone else’s need. Empathy also facilitates the knowledge of others, and discover their motives of anger, joy or discouragement. Without a doubt this ability, at the same time as feeling, develops within us the ability to motivate and channel ourselves and others.
How empathy arises in childhood
Hoffman is the leading theorist about the development of empathy in childhood. This author recognizes two dimensions to study in children’s empathy:
- recognition of others’ internal states and
- indirect affective response.
Hoffman explains that the way empathy begins and develops in children is through affection and cognition and goes beyond an approach to the information process. Therefore, it develops parallel to the stages of social cognitive development. Empathy occurs from the moment of birth. What happens is that until the first year, the baby still does not perceive others as distinct from himself. So the pain you perceive in others is confused with your own unpleasant feelings.
In the most advanced states, already in the final period of childhood, the child recognizes others as physical entities other than self, with internal states independent of the subject itself. At a mature level of empathy the boy or girl will be more influenced by the other’s vital condition than by the immediate situation. The child distinguishes transient and chronic states, this ability will be essential for the development of a full future life.
Importance of a spatic school
If we talk about empathy in teaching, it is because of the importance of it in the daily lives of our children, and of families. In addition, different studies confirm in the school offers great benefits in the intellectual and academic development of pupils .
Empathetic teachers, with the ability to see beyond grades, are able to read children and adolescents, understand them and understand how they feel in situations. These types of teachers are essential for quality training, because they are decisive in the success of students.
Empathetic teachers are essential to protect the little ones, assist them in their inclusion with their peers and understand their needs. In addition to driving them to motivation, and improve their academic skills. In the case of teenagers empathy is manifested by watching and listening, with a more seemingly passive attitude. It’s time to pay attention to what every young person does, and to be open to their concerns.