Illustration zum Thema Empathie.


Everyday life example

Imagine you stroll through the city centre and are overtaken by a child on a bicycle. Suddenly, the child tumbles off the bike, falls down, scrapes his/her knees and starts to cry.

What would you do in this situation and why?

Typically, it is reported that feelings of compassion and/or pity arise and are accompanied by a behavioural impulse to help the child. These emotional reactions and behavioural impulses are based on empathy.

What is empathy?

When we show empathy, we put ourselves in the position of another person and take his/her perspective. Doing this allows us to understand and anticipate the feelings, desires, thoughts and actions of others. Similarly, we are able to realize how our own behaviour affects others.

Why do we need empathy?

Empathy is an essential component of social interaction and emotional experience. Understanding the feelings and thoughts of others enables us to form and maintain interpersonal relationships.

Practicing empathy towards children is necessary for resisting child sexual abuse. By recognizing and comprehending how children think and feel one is able to understand the harm that sexual abuse can inflict upon them.

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