Empathy - your secret weapon

Empathy - your secret weapon

Empathy is defined as the ability to share and understand the feelings of others. It comes from genuineness, something that you cannot pretend to be or fake. If you are curious to know why I am talking about empathy in the context of health, let's find out.

It took me forever to learn that people care far more about how you make them feel than what you do. There is a scientific basis for this. We have an emotional brain and a rational brain.

Our emotional brain is designed to process information in milliseconds. 18 from my understanding of the research. A second is 1000 milliseconds, so you can understand how quickly this is happening.

The emotional brain works at this hyperspeed with good reason. Imagine an event that occurred that ought to frighten you into running or jumping away. On the whole, your body would prefer that you do so as soon as possible.

Of course, a few seconds later, your rational brain would kick in and laugh at your stupidity. How foolish to mistake that rope for a snake and jump! But honestly, from a survival point of view, isn't it much better that you jumped? Your body prefers an emotional response over a rational one.

The same thing happens when you are dealing with people. Your survival instincts determine that your response is driven by how you are made to feel instead of what the person is doing.

Sure, in the long run, if someone is killing you with kindness, your rational brain will kick in. But in the short run, you care far more about how you are made to feel than what is happening.

Which brings me to the science of health. Ask anyone you know. They will always praise a doctor because of the way they were treated by them.