This is a preview. The full article appears in Neil's book: Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship
Empathy is the ability to feel the emotions of someone else. It describes how well we identify with other people’s pain, fears, desires, feelings and experiences. It is the one trait that most links humans together. It makes me have compassion for what has befallen you, it allows you to feel excited by my success, and it compels both of us to be horrified when we hear or read about some tragedy that has befallen others.
To test your level of empathy, take the following quiz. Use this scale for all questions: A. Not at all. B. Somewhat. C. Fifty-fifty. D. A good deal. E. Very much.
- I enjoy caring for other people.
- I can usually appreciate the other person’s viewpoint, even if I don’t agree with it.
- I am quick to spot when someone else is feeling awkward or uncomfortable.
- People tell me that I often go too far in driving home my point in a discussion.
- I am easily affected by the emotions of others.
- I find it easy to put myself in someone else’s shoes.
- I can tell if someone is masking their true emotions.
- I am able to make decisions without being influenced by people’s feelings who are close to me.
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