Empathy: the ability to understand what another person is experiencing from within the other person's point of view, ie, the capacity to place oneself in another's shoes.
People who are more empathetic, more connected to others, report greater life satisfaction and have actually been shown to recover from stressful situations more quickly and easily.
Here are three ways to become a more empathetic person:
--- Try the Five-Minute Favor
The only rule is that the favor must be something you do to benefit someone else, with no direct personal gain!
Carry someone's groceries, listen to your coworker's troubles, etc. Think of one you can make today!
--- Offer your help
I am notorious for trying to do it all myself, but giving and receiving as a continuous loop. If you never ask for help, you'll never in a position to give help. Accept support, so that you are able to give it. Research shows that giving does amazing things to your brain and body.
--- Become a loving listener
Listening is powerful way. You gain more insight into this person, and you improve the quality of your relationships overall. Whether it's a 10-minute exchange on the subway or a chat over coffee, careful listening transforms an ordinary conversation to one that fosters higher self-esteem.
With small gestures, you can consciously improve your empathy. Not only will be you more in tune with people around you, but your life may well be more filled with love.