Why We Need More Empathy

Posted by Annie Keough on March 24, 2023


You probably know what it’s like to be around someone and just know that they’ve had a bad day. We don’t always know how to deal with negative emotions, sometimes they make us uncomfortable and we turn away from a person in need. This is why we need more empathy towards others.

What is empathy?

Empathy is the ability to understand how others are feeling so we can respond to their emotions appropriately. Instead of feeling another person’s sadness and turning away, empathy allows us to feel with them and help them through their troubles.

Empathy is essential in our lives and our interactions with others. An alternative to the Golden Rule (treat others how you would want to be treated) is the Platinum Rule: treat others how they would like to be treated

The Platinum Rule is an example of an empathetic approach to interactions that can help us strengthen social bonds and create deeper connections. 

While some group empathy, compassion, and sympathy together, there are some distinct differences between the three. Sympathy and compassion are important but are thought to be a more passive connection style. Empathy is actively attempting to understand another person.

There are three different types of empathy: affective, somatic, and cognitive.

     Affective. The ability to understand another person’s emotions and appropriately respond. This type of empathy is “other-oriented,” meaning it seeks to achieve an emotional understanding of someone’s thoughts, feelings, and actions.

     Somatic. Having a physical reaction to what another person feels/is experiencing. Second-hand embarrassment is an example of somatic empathy. When you see someone get embarrassed, your face may blush or your hands start to shake.

     Cognitive. The ability to understand another person’s perspective. You can think about what someone may be thinking in response to a situation.

Utilizing a combination of all three types of empathy can help your social connections at work, around your family and friends, or in everyday interactions.


Wellzesta encourages social and emotional well-being as part of our eight dimensions of wellness. Empathy allows our users to excel in both dimensions.

Wellzesta Life users can practice empathy in their social lives by attending Events and creating Groups in the Life app. Daily wellness content about empathy and how to cultivate it is also available to users in the Well-being section.

Click here to learn more about how Wellzesta can help your community.