Most People Don't Know This Is The Best Way To Empathise

Posted on March 9, 2017

Our desire to understand, and be understood is a primitive one as it forms the basis of human connection. However, such desire to navigate the choppy waters of people’s minds and emotional states was often met with waves of unwelcome confusion. Fret not! For new research has revealed to us that the way to know other people’ minds - putting yourself in their shoes.

Contrary to popular belief which places a high premium on reading facial expressions and body language, putting yourself in others’ shoes actually render us greater emotional insight to understand the emotional states of others.

Study authors, Drs Haotian Zhou and Nicholas Epley said:“People expected that they could infer another’s emotions by watching him or her, when in fact they were more accurate when they were actually in the same situation as the other person. And this bias persisted even after our participants gained firsthand experience with both strategies.”

Also, in one re-run, people attempted to read their own facial expressions and it was revealed that people tend commit the same mistakes in the process of trying to understand themselves. They may tend to exaggerate how much their face would reveal and underestimated the power of putting themselves in their own past shoes again.

Therefore, understanding others and ourselves requires a great lot of empathy, and it is only via understanding why our inferences about each other may not be accurate that we can learn to understand each other better.

Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from Psyblog

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