What I've Learned about Empathy: It Reduces Conflict

Empathy is an ability to understand and what another person is experiencing from their perspective or as it is sometimes said "walking in a mile in his shoes". When we can trust others, we are in a much better position to manage conflict with them. Conflict is the natural consequence of having different views and opinions about the challenges we face today. But lack of compassion towards others can increase and increase conflicts by showing themselves as prejudices, stereotypes and bullying.

We can improve our ability to reduce and resolve conflict with a better understanding of obstacles that impede our natural reflections. An important part of our ability to keep in mind with others is our social identity – how we perceive ourselves as a group member.

Social Identity Theory (SIT) is a social psychology school that asserts that we gain a significant part of our self-esteem from the groups we belong to. SIT shows how decisions that people believe are personal, actually expression of their group image and needs of the group.

According to SIT, formation of groups takes place through three stages:

• Social Classification – Seeing yourself as part of a group (gender, race, religion, political party, etc.).

• Social Identification – Seeing Other as either to be part of your group (us) or not part of your group [þeim]

• Social Media – Seeing a Social Group (Us) Being Better to Other Groups

SIT Study Jane Elliot showed that being part of a group affects how you look at yourself and your behavior towards other groups. Elliot "Blue-eye / Brown-Eye Study" is divided into primary schools in two groups based on eye color.

Elliot said the blue eyes the children that the blue eyes meant you were better, faster and better and brave them privileges. They said to the brown eyes the children that their eyes were lazy, amazing and stupid. The blue eye group became a boss, arrogant and smarter, showing a difference in the brown eyes. The brown children became tired, submissive and performed less well academically.

They performed the roles a few days later and said the brown children as they were the "better" group. The same thing happened, this time with brown eyes that differ in blue eyes. Obviously self-esteem for the children was the role of the group they were associated with and influenced how their group interacted with the "other" group and how they acted theoretically. A PBS Frontline Documentary " A Class Replacement " is a video of this experiment for those who are interested in experiencing the impact of SIT on children.

If you see yourself as part of a social group, you must ask yourself how your group image affects your commitments, decisions, and self-esteem. I feel better about yourself because your group is "better" "better" or more "right" than another group? If so, you leave opportunities to experience compassion for others who can help reduce or eliminate conflicts.

By compassion for those belonging to different groups from your own requirements, your self-esteem is based more on your personal information than a social or group image. That means that who you are personally is more important in dealing with people than any social identity we accept as members of a group. It means that your ability to overcome differences and resolve conflict comes from a wider sense of who you are outside of a group.

It's not easy to have compassion for people from "other" groups, especially when many of your groups try to increase their self-esteem by putting down other groups. Psychologist Carl Rogers characterizes the difficulty of being empathetic in white papers entitled Empathic: An unrecognized way of being:

"Being in a different way means you make opinions and values. You hold yourself to to enter another world without prejudice. Made by a person who is confident enough in himself that he knows that he will not be lost in what may seem to be strange or strange to the world and can go back well to him when he wish it. "

Leave away your own opinions and values ​​and get into someone else's home without pre-requisites requiring the individual's personality and security that is most urgent. It's a sincere desire to respect listening to someone else. But for those who are sufficiently encouraged to step into this dark and threatening world's feelings, the rewards can be well worth it. When we can put ourselves in the shoes of others we create a bridge of understanding and compassion that can begin to cure the wide bay that understands many areas of society.

What tendency of people to associate their self esteem with a group of members, what's the way forward to improve relationships between groups? For groups like elementary school students in the Elliot study, the answer might be to guide them how their eyesight does not matter to who they are (people's self-esteem) and to encourage them with positive consent to behave as smart, caring and sympathetic.

Many methods of dealing with discrimination and prejudice can help people get their understanding of social self-esteem. If people see themselves and their neighbors as any member of a larger group, social comparison of "us" will be better than "them" ceases. Finally, the biggest group we live in is up to humanity. No matter what district, city, state or country we call our own, we all have one whole community of humans. If we all begin to see ourselves as members of the human society, our sympathy towards each other can provide the basis for overcoming many social conflicts that are facing us as individuals and collectively as residents of the world's people.


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