People have seemed to reach the generation where it’s easier to “cancel” someone and hop onto someone’s hate train in a snap than trying to understand them and the situation. It seems as though the world has entered a time where the art of empathy is lost.
People have lost the ability to share the feelings of another. They have reached the time when it has gotten difficult to understand and put oneself in another’s shoes and learn to see the situation through their perspective. However, the problem isn’t hopeless. It’s been said that empathy can be learned and that people can learn to be empathetic even to those they barely know.
But how? – Kindness.
Kindness is an essential factor in empathy. When people are kind, they can better pay attention and understand someone’s experience and emotions. Hence, to be more empathic, one needs to be kind. But why is there a need for people to be empathic or kind to others? There are many reasons to do so, but the most apparent reason is that it makes the world a better place to live in, not just for others but for oneself. According to author Kwaku Mensah, the root of all suffering is the mistreatment of men and women by their fellow men.
The best thing to do to be kinder to others is to be kinder to oneself first. When people aren’t kind to themselves, it’s easy to displace anger or any negative emotion they’re feeling toward others. This results in their unpleasant way of socially reacting to situations with others. Let’s consider some of the ways to avoid this.
Being easy to yourself
People say, “you are your worst critic and enemy.” People are the hardest on themselves. They expect the best from themselves and will typically constantly nit-pick their hard work. While doing so, they rarely show any appreciation or praise for their work despite doing their best.
People should learn to stop trying to be perfect because while they may not know or notice it about themselves, they are already perfect in their ways. Additionally, being easy on themselves means they need to find the sweet spot between striving and acceptance. Learn to discover and accept ceilings – their limits, the point where they’ve already done their best. Likewise, despite learning to accept limitations, they shouldn’t limit themselves and settle, especially if they know they can still do better. While accepting where their limits are, people should still strive to grow as individuals continuously.
Nothing can soothe and uplift one’s spirits better than a good treat. Let’s face it, spending can be abused and can lead to highly destructive behavior. But if done correctly, spending a little on oneself can become the best self-care. After achieving something, people who buy things for themselves appreciate themselves and acknowledge their hard work.
Reminding yourself of your good qualities
In line with being their worst critic, when people look at themselves, it can be pretty easy to highlight the things they dislike about themselves rather than the great things they have. People should learn to lift themselves – rather than depending on someone for validation. It’s best if they do it to themselves first. It’s common sense that everyone is unique, and while it can be easy to feel insecure or a little jealous about others – and it’s completely valid to feel that way – one should learn to believe that they are enough in their way.
Now that people have learned to remind themselves of how great they are, they should learn not to let others dictate their worth. Instead, they need to trust themselves and make their own decisions. They should refuse to compare themselves to others and learn to respect and know their values. This means they need to be true to themselves and their identity – prioritize themselves and what makes them happy. People should listen less to what people say about them in line with knowing their worth. Most of the time, they get discouraged about what makes them happy because others tell them so. “You shouldn’t do that,” or, “Why are you like that” – these sentiments should be ignored, and people should only work on figuring themselves out.
Learning to say no
When people stop saying yes to doing the things they don’t want to do, they create more time and energy to do the activities and be with people that make them happy. In saying no to things, especially those that make them uncomfortable, they’re drawing a boundary. This can make others know how to respect and treat them better. Therefore, learning to say no isn’t just people being kind to oneself; it’s also teaching others to be kind to them, which is equally important.
Before one makes any relationship with others, they first need to make a decent relationship with themselves. Before they can go out and become a good person to others, they need to make sure that they’re a good person to themselves.