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See the Words of Wisdom section for more instructions, hints and tips.

Empathy is showing concern about how others feel. It's walking in their shoes. It's not just knowing how they feel, but why they feel that way.

People with this talent are especially admired by others. It's a great way to get on the good side of adults, teachers, and friends.

The first step is to listen to what and how they say something. If you ask someone how they feel and they reply "Fine," ask them how they really feel. After they have told you, tell them what you think they are thinking.

The second step is to watch what their body language is telling you. Their stance, arms, legs, and facial expressions will tell you how they REALLY feel even though they don't tell you. If you are having trouble understanding what their body language is saying, try imitating them in private and see how you feel.

The third step is to put yourself in their position - body, clothes, and situation. Ask yourself the questions "why" or "why not." The person may not understand their position completely themselves and talking about it may help them understand themselves better.

Practicing empathy by putting yourself in another's position will help you understand others better. It will make you more and deeper friends. You'll have fewer enemies.

If someone reacts unexpectedly to a situation, investigate the reason(s) and try to understand the reaction.

Practice empathy this week and tell me next week about your experiences.

Copyright © 2008 Vincent Hale