“I can understand you”


„Ich kann dich verstehen“ - Wie du dank Empathie besser mit anderen auskommst

How to get along better with others thanks to empathy! 


“How can you be so stupid / stubborn / small-minded?!” Often these thoughts cross our minds when we simply have a completely different opinion than our counterpart. But what exactly is behind the opinion or reaction of the other person? 

Imagine waking up one morning and suddenly being able to hear the thoughts of the other people around you. In this newfound ability, you realize that the woman at the bakery doesn’t find you funny at all, even if she laughs. Frightening thoughts from people worried about their lives bombard your mind. Understanding dawns as you observe the young man who consistently occupies the same bench in the evening. It becomes clear that he is afraid to go home since his wife recently left him.

It could happen to us in a similar way if we were to go through the world one hundred percent empathically. We would be able to put ourselves in the thoughts and feelings of others without any problem. The more empathic we are, the simpler and clearer the world becomes for us because we understand it better. 


What is empathy? 

Empathy is the ability to correctly interpret and empathize with the feelings of other people. If you have this ability, you can find your way around people better. You know more quickly what to expect. You can adapt your reaction to your counterpart. Empathy helps you to solve conflicts and to improve your personal relationships.  This even has a positive effect on your economic success. 

Actor Robin Williams, who made many people laugh in his movies and suffered from depression before his death, is reported to have once said, “Everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be nice – always.” This phrase gets to the heart of what we often fail to keep in mind when we encounter problems with those around us in our daily lives. We need to keep in mind that there is always a reason why someone is reacting inappropriately / excessively / unfairly …from our point of view and make an active effort to be empathetic. 


You can practice empathy 

Empathy is not your thing? Then I would like to tell you today: empathy can also be trained! Two things are helpful. First, focus on yourself. Think about the situations in your everyday life in which you find it difficult to understand the feelings and needs of others. How do you feel in these moments? And then take time to observe your fellow human beings thoroughly. Pay particular attention to non-verbal expressions, because they are a great aid to interpreting what is going on in the other person’s mind. Over time, it will become easier for you to understand others and respond empathetically. 


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