Empathy 101 | Develop your emotional intelligence skills | Mind Favor | Skillshare

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Empathy 101 | Develop your emotional intelligence skills

teacher avatar Mind Favor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What to expect?

    • 3. Assume worst case scenario

    • 4. Am I being a hypocrite?

    • 5. Extreme gratitude

    • 6. People have different lenses

    • 7. All emotions are valid

    • 8. Insecurities

    • 9. Tactics

    • 10. Final thoughts

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About This Class

Empathy is defined as the ability to share and understand the feelings of others. Developing the skill of empathy has been an extremely value skill in my life. I firmly believe the world would be a much better place if more people practice the skill of empathy. This course is designed to teach some "mental models" or different ways to think about people and the world which will naturally allow us to develop the skill of empathy and become a much more patient, kind, compassionate, and ultimately empathetic person. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Mind Favor


MindFavor is dedicated to teaching you skills that will help you thrive and succeed in the 21st century. Most of the information taught in the current school system is outdated and irrelevant to how daily life really is. Our mission is to empower you with the RIGHT information to help you live your best life. 


And if you're looking to get started with 2 FREE months of Skillshare Premium, use this link to take advantage of this offer now: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/mindfavor

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1. Introduction: We're going to be more empathetic is one of the most important skills that will not only improve the quality of your life, ultimately make the world that much of a better place by learning the skill of empathy. Hi, my name's Steven. I am a content creator and instructor here on Skillshare to now over 3000 students throughout my career and experience as a teacher, I've come across and developed many different skills to improve my life. But one of the more important ones that's really changed my life is the ability to be more empathetic. This has really allowed me to grow my career, have deeper and richer interpersonal relationships, and ultimately just be a better person in general, some people may believe that it's something you're just born way through you have, but that's absolutely not the case. It's a skill that anybody can learn. That's what I'm going to do in this course here is break down some of the mental models in some of the thought processes that I use to help me be more empathetic and really develop and foster the skill. So this course is great for anybody who's looking to develop their skill of empathy and becoming a more empathetic person, or let's say you, you're already a pretty empathetic person, but you're looking for a couple of different tips and tricks that can help you become even more empathetic than this course is great for you. I'm super excited. You've decided to stop I and let's go ahead and get started. 2. What to expect?: So before we get into the course, I want to give you a high-level overview of what to expect throughout this course. Primarily what I'm going to be talking about is a lot of the mental models or the way really the thought processes that I have about the world, about people around me by having these certain mental model that's then helped me become a more empathetic person. I'm a firm believer that our inputs equal outputs. So if the quality or if the input of our thought processes is a bad quality, that's going to result in our actions being unkind and non empathetic opposed to having high-quality thought processes. High-quality input will then allow us to have high-quality output or us being a lot more compassionate, understanding and loving of everyone around us. 3. Assume worst case scenario: So the first mental model I loved to use all the time is assuming the worst-case scenario. For example, sake, let's pretend that you're driving down the road, you're minding your own business, then all of a sudden somebody cuts in front of you, speeding and driving super recklessly. It's completely normal for your first reaction to be a very angry at that person. Flip them off, maybe try to speed back up with them, them out the window and give them a mean look. Using this mental model in situations like that, I try to assume the worst-case scenario. My mind will automatically assume they most likely are heading to the hospital because they just found out that their kid on a horrific car accident and they're extremely stressed out in it's a matter of life and death for them to make it to the hospital by just re-framing this situation as the most extreme possible version of what happened, then by default gives me a little bit more understanding, right? So if we're in fact the case, is it possible for me to be a little bit more understanding, a little bit more patient, a little less angry if they weren't in fact, rushed to the hospital to see you there, dying kid? Yeah. Probably now, is that actually the case or is a habit in real life? I don't know. And I never will know just by simply re-framing it in that way. At the end of the day, it allows me to approach the situation with more empathy and to not react in such a negative way. 4. Am I being a hypocrite?: The next mental model I like to think of is being a hypocrite. For example, sake, let's say you are driving down the road and you see a homeless person on the street with a sign asking for money. It's very possible for your first thought to be and just go get a job. You're probably just going to use the money to buy drugs or alcohol. Why don't you stop asking for handouts? Very possible to have that thought process. But applying this next mental model of England being a hypocrite, thinking through this thought process of, well, has anybody ever helped me in my life before? The answer is yes. It wouldn't make me a hypocrite to be judgmental person who writes them off for asking for help. I'm not necessarily saying that you always have to help every single person who come across because there's limits to that. You know, you have your budget, you have to properly take care of you and your family. But it's again more so the mental thought process you're going through to help when you do come across somebody and try to think of this mental model of Am I being a hypocrite? If I am being a hypocrite and that's probably a sign that I need to change my thought process. Again, by doing that, we're naturally going to be more empathetic. So even if we don't give money or food to this homeless person on the side of the road this time, that's still, is changing our thought process. So then that allows us to see these people with more compassion, with more empathy, with more understanding. And then that could influence our actions. Maybe the next time you drive down the road. 5. Extreme gratitude: Next mental model which I really like and can be very powerful, is extreme gratitude, for example, sake, let's say you're having a lot of fights with your partner and for whatever reason, they're really having issues properly communicating with you. And because of that, you're feeling a strain on your relationship. When we're feeling that, again, it's human nature to want to lash out to be, to maybe be childish or say things we know we shouldn't try it again under their skin in a situation like this. Going to the extreme gratitude, taking a moment to think about our situation and saying, well, yes, they are annoying and they do really bother me sometimes by not being able to properly communicate. Let's take a step back and think for a sec. I'm extremely grateful to have this relationship, have somebody out there in the world who loves me, like I love that we think about the entire world. There's many people who don't have that by simply reframe in this situation within the context of extreme gratitude that can change our thought process a little bit. Instead of making us lash out or say those things we know we shouldn't better approach the situation with a sense of empathy and in trying to understand, well, where's this communication disconnect coming from? Why is it that he can't communicate properly? Was he never taught that before? Was there's something growing up. It puts us in a more solution oriented mindset instead of thing. You know, it's me verse hymn and puts us in a better state of mind to work together to solve this problem, to get their relationship back on track. 6. People have different lenses: Next worldview or mental model, which I use all the time, which has been super helpful, is understanding that everybody in the world has their own unique lens through which they're seeing the world. Easiest way I like to think about this is everybody is wearing a set of classes through which they see the world, right? So some people have a certain prescription of glasses that impacts the way they see the world. Sunglasses with a blue tint. Some people might be viewing the world with the yellow tent. Some people might be seen the world blurry and not having glasses. This is all to point out that everybody has their own unique childhood. You need belief systems, unique life experiences. All of these contribute to the lens through which they're seeing the world. And the other point I want to tie with this mental model is understanding that everybody has their own unique lens through which you see in the world, right? But also to everybody in the world. It's simply trying their best based on the lens that they have, based on their experiences, where they're at in their life right now, everybody's trying the best they can. When you approach situations like that, instead of seeing somebody say on the complete opposite side of the political spectrum, for example, in saying that, well, they're, they're a complete idiot and they don't know what they're talking about. And that might all be true, but also trying to have a sense of understanding of maybe they were bounced around from foster home to foster home, which then dysregulated the way that they can manage their emotion. And then let's say they never got a good quality job. So they feel economically separated from society, right? I mean, we could go down the list all of these different types of possible situations that could cause somebody's lens through which they see the world to be very different from yours or from the world when we are coming across folks who are completely different from us and have a totally different lens through which they're seeing the world. It can be tough, but at least understanding this concept, at least going into situations, trying to understand where their lenses, in acknowledging that some of their previous life experience may have colored the lands or changed the lens through which they see the world, can by default help us be just a little bit more empathetic. 7. All emotions are valid: The next mental model that's been really helpful for me is to understand that everybody's emotions are always valid. Somebody may have the facts of the situation wrong, but everybody in the world is always justify to their own personal feelings. I heard a pretty good quote by Oprah ones where she talks about the human emotions is one of the common threads or common things that really all humans on Earth share. Whenever you're dealing with a situation where some say somebody's extremely angry or they're difficult to work with, it can be very easy to lash back out with them or be sure or not show them sense of understanding and compassion by using this mental model and just understanding that even though they may be factually wrong about the argument you guys are having, there still valid to experience their own emotions about the situation. And sometimes that just requires being patient to allow them to not only feel that anger, but work through that emotion in the moment until they are in a more calm, rational state, then you can work to resolve that disagreement. 8. Insecurities: Another mental model that I think about is whenever somebody is criticizing you or they're being difficult more often than not, it's just a reflection of their own insecurities and they're simply projecting their own insecurities on you. This is not to say that we should just dismiss any type of criticism to be able to grow in life, right? We have to be open-minded and in open to criticism, looking at it through just an objective lens and analyzing the feedback. Is this valid feedback is something that I actually shouldn't be working on or not. If somebody is being difficult judgment and all talking bad about you, it's simply just a reflection of their own insecurities. And by re-framing it that way, it makes it much easier to see them and treat them with compassion and understanding, knowing that they probably deep down have their own issues. They're trying to work through it. 9. Tactics: The next thing we wanna talk about is a couple of tactics are things that we could do practically to be a little bit more empathetic when dealing with other people. So my first rule is, I'll never tell somebody I know how they feel. But say you're talking with somebody and they recently experienced a death in the family, even if you've had loved ones who have passed away, we should really shy away from telling them we know how they feel. Going back to a previous lesson before my life experience, my emotional regulation, the way I feel and process emotions, that's going to be totally different from my friend. There's no way that we can truly 100% understand how somebody else's feeling. There's other ways to let people know that you're there, you care for them. But I always try to shy away from the phrase of, I know how you feel. The next mental model, which has been really helpful for me in my own life is being open-minded. One of the reasons I think so many people actually struggle with truly being open-minded is because it's hard it, to be truly open-minded. You have to make yourself vulnerable and open to the possibility of admitting that you're wrong, admitting that your values, your worldviews, the way you see the world isn't actually true. And I think many people don't actually want to see that they don't actually wanna make themselves vulnerable. I'll walk through a couple of examples from my own life to better illustrate what being open-minded, at least in my opinion, looks like when I was 18 years old, I was introduced to multilevel marketing or commonly called pyramid schemes. It's not actually a pyramid scheme is just the type of business model, but you've most likely heard of it before. And at that time, it seemed like a good idea to me being promised lots of money. And I heard many people around me saying, Oh, this isn't a good idea, you should, you're just going to waste your time and money. I was genuinely curious and I decided to go to a couple meetings, ended up spending a couple $100 to sign up. And ultimately it didn't really work out, wasn't really what they promised. And so I wasted my time and money. Somebody looking at that situation from the outside could say that I was pretty dang. That could be true. But I would also simply just, instead of classifying that as dumb, I would just classify that as being open-minded and I learned something from it. And then I can take this new information and improved my life moving forward. And then taking a look at say, the other side of the spectrum. In mid 2016, I came across this new cryptocurrency called a theorem. I was open-minded to this brand new technology that not many people knew about. And I bought some of this cryptocurrency when it was around $8 a piece. Today that cryptocurrency has grown to over close to $4,500 a piece. So again, somebody from the outside looking in might say, Well, that was a really smart decision that you made. That's true. It could be, but at the same time, I would simply categorize that as being open-minded. I came across something that I was curious and I made myself vulnerable and see if anything came from it. The reason I point out both these stories is to just illustrate that I think far too many people when it comes to being open-minded, categorize things as old. I made a bad decision. I made a good decision. Instead of simply looking at the world as trying to learn as much as you can from the world and striving for what's actually true, instead of getting trapped in our own belief systems and not going out into the world and not engaging with the world and not trying to have our beliefs challenged. This is all to say though, simply by having more open-minded way of looking at the world and approaching the world and having that confidence and make ourselves vulnerable by having a truly open mind when we do come across folks who are difficult or challenging emotional situations by approaching it not with a dismissive but a genuine desire to say, okay, well, this person, they are totally out of left field. I can't even understand why they would say that thing. This simple fact, actually approaching a situation with a genuine desire for learning can make a very big difference with understanding people and ultimately acting and speaking a lot more empathetically. 10. Final thoughts: As wrap up the course, I first wanted to thank you so much for your time and attention. I hope you got some good information out of this in for the class project. What I want you to do is to complete the attached worksheet and just spend about five to 10 minutes thinking through these questions and being honest with yourself about some of these mental models you might already naturally be good at and RDB practicing in everyday life. And then what's one or two of these mental models that you could adapt or maybe you haven't been aware of or haven't come across before we could start implementing. Once you're complete with that, be sure to upload that to the course projects so that way me and other students can see. And if you do have any of your own mental models which you use, which I didn't talk about here. I'd be really happy to see those in the comments so that way I could possibly learn something from U2. And thank you so much for your time. Hope you got some good information out of this. I wish you the best of luck and take care.