Human beings are unique beings. This is because for one to be able to live peaceably with others, one needs to embrace each other in love and support (Sichel, 2004). In order to be able to thrive, there is a need to develop empathy. Empathy can be described as a person’s capacity to act, which is based on understanding. In this case, one is sensitive to the feelings and experiences of another person at a particular point in time. Empathy ensures that a person is able to stand with a person without exposing a person in an explicit manner.
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The keywords, in the definition, are capacity and action. You must have room for empathy in your mind and heart before you can feel, respond to, and act upon it. And the aim of empathy is an action more than words. Empathy is something you demonstrate in how you treat people more than something explained. In essence, adults who suffered a lack of empathy in their childhoods typically have a hard time believing that empathy is possible in their lives today. Fortunately, the capacity for empathy can be developed: empathy can be learned as a tool. Learning to integrate a habit of empathy, of thinking of others first, and of putting ourselves mentally in the shoes of others inevitably means the quality of our relationships will improve (Sichel, 2004).
Conflicts are part of human life. They normally emanate from the differences which are created between and or among people who have different opinions. It is worth mentioning the fact that conflicts have got certain implications in human life. Some of these differences are brought about by cultural differences that people hold. Furthermore, these differences are usually based on different values that people hold that are informed by our cultural orientations. Conflicts are everywhere in our lives. They form part and parcel of our very being. This is because as human beings we are ever facing new issues and circumstances which demand different opinions and approaches with regard to life issues. Given the many varied conflicting situations which we face, one may conclude that we are good at dealing with conflicts. However, this has not always been the case. The reality is that many people do not understand the right approaches which are associated with handling conflict.
It is important to note that managing conflict consists of two steps. These steps include assessing the conflict and then taking the necessary steps to address the conflict. In resolving conflicts at all levels, the first approach should be to diagnose the conflict and then find out some of the approaches that can be used in dealing with the conflict. In this case, empathy is a crucial aspect. This is because it ensures that the persons who are in conflict are able to understand each other (Furlong, 2010). This is based on the fact that common understanding is usually formed and sustained by the value we attach to what we are going through as well as what other people are going through. When one empathetically employs these two steps, one should be creative and insightful at diagnosing what is causing a conflict. Secondly, one should effectively and skilfully take action to resolve the conflict. Conclusion
Empathy enhances sobriety in approaches that might form or bring a barrier to resolving conflict. This is because it ensures that one is able to diagnose the conflict consciously, and respond soberly without being influenced by emotions. Thus, empathy is vital when it comes to resolving conflicts. This is because it creates a common understanding which is based on mutual interest.
Furlong, G. (2010). The Conflict Resolution Toolbox: Models and Maps for Analyzing, Diagnosing, and Resolving Conflict. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Sichel, M. (2004). Healing From Family Rifts: Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut Off From a Family Member. California: McGraw-Hill Professional.