Nursing

Blog spotlight: Can empathy be learned?

Nurse Leader Insider, October 25, 2010

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By Wendy Leebov

Of course.  That’s how people become empathetic in the first place. Children are not naturally empathetic.  They are largely self-centered beings whose main focus is on getting their own needs met at all costs.  Much of “growing up” has to do with moving from a role of taking, to one of also giving, of learning to set our own thoughts, feelings, and needs aside sometimes, so we can make space for those of other people.  This ability, of course, is the key to feeling and expressing empathy.

But what if a person did not learn these skills as they grew up?  What if expressing empathy doesn’t come naturally to them?  Are they then hopeless?  Of course not.  If they want to learn to be empathetic, more often than not, they can.


Read more of this blog post and get tips on expressing empathy at the Leaders’ Lounge.
 



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