- Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings and motives. (American Heritage)
- The power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another's feelings. (Collins)
- A deep emotional understanding of another's feelings or problems. (Fairview Triple)
- The ability to understand and share another's feelings. (Oxford)
- The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings of another. (Webster)
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Of all the treasures in the earth
and underneath the sea,
no prize is valued more than this,
nor held more gratefully:
that friend who gets behind your eyes
and sees what you can see.
© 2012 all rights reserved
EMPATHY (em-puh-thee) noun:
No matter how you define empathy, it's an easy quality to recognize when it's coming your way. Most of us have many people in our lives who show affection and sympathy, but the friends who are able to demonstrate true empathy are few and far between. It seems empathy is more of a gift than a given, and not everyone is emotionally wired to offer it, however good his or her intentions.
Yesterday I had lunch with a woman whose empathy abounds, and I am lucky enough to call her a dear friend. A wiser and more intelligent person you will never meet, but what I love most about her is that she always seems to "get it" when I am sharing a thought, feeling, or experience. In fact, she "gets it" so much that frequently she is able to provide me with additional insight into the very thoughts, feelings, and experiences I am sharing. Needless to say, spending time with her is a rare pleasure; and once my "other half" retires, we hope to spend more time with both her and her husband (a gem of a man who happens to be one of Dave's favorite golfing buddies).