How important is empathy


 ~ Personality explained in simple terms ~ 


Empathy describes compassion towards other people. Recognizing, understanding, and empathizing with the thoughts, personality, and emotions of others is empathy.

Empathy in personality

In the human personality, empathy is mainly related to one quality: the compatibility or the cooperative To interact. This describes a personality trait of the scientific Big Five model, which is mainly about how considerate we are to other people: whether we pay more attention to our own advantage, or whether we have positive relationships with our fellow human beings and are empathetic. Below is a short self-test for empathy.

The personality You can assess it with the 5-question test or the scientific test in the type test book.

Empathy test

How much do you agree with these 10 statements?

  • Can empathize with other people

  • When someone is feeling bad, I try to understand why this is so

  • Can usually understand why others are doing what they are doing

  • If someone feels bad, I am happy to help

  • Often feel sorry for others

  • Can understand other people's problems well

  • Can empathize with other points of view

  • Would describe me as empathetic

  • Care about others

  • Empathize with others and feel sympathy for them

The more clearly you agree with these statements, the stronger the degree of empathy. If you can only agree with a few or none of them, you are not very empathetic. You can assign 0-4 points for each statement: 0 = does not apply at all, 4 = applies completely. This then results in a maximum value of 40 points, a minimum value of 0 and an average value of 20 points. In any case, it pays to work on your ability to empathize.

Advantages of empathy in work and everyday life

Empathy has many advantages:

Understanding other people better and being able to empathize with them helps us in our private life as well as in our work, in a partnership, as a manager or in the family.

Those who can empathize with the feelings and motivations of other people recognize more easily why they behave as they do, can react better, show understanding, respond to them and help them. In many professions, empathy is a basic requirement for positive interaction with other people. From the doctor to the company boss to the salesperson, almost everyone benefits from being able to put themselves in other people's shoes and to be able to understand them. Empathy is helpful in all types of relationships. It is one of the cornerstones of our humanity: to understand the feelings and behavior of other people, to empathize with them. In short: be empathetic. Because this not only creates a feeling of togetherness, but also a willingness to help others. Therefore, empathetic people usually show more altruism = unselfish willingness to help, and have a higher level of resilience.

Empathy only has disadvantages if we empathize extremely strongly with others and are emotionally taken along by their fate or feelings in such a way that it negatively affects us (many of us not only know this from real life, but also experience this when looking at it sad movies or reading poignant stories that touch us). This type of empathy or compassion is mainly related to the personality trait of neuroticism, which describes the sensitivity to negative feelings.

What also includes empathy, but still has to be considered separately, is emotional intelligence. This includes understanding other people's emotions, but it does not automatically include feeling empathy because of them. In addition, emotional intelligence is about perceiving one's own emotions and about being able to influence and to a certain extent control the feelings of oneself and others.


In my book Knowledge of human nature - the great type test there are easily understandable explanations and tips on all parts of our personality, and of course those that are related to empathy. It explains how you can better recognize and understand the personality of your fellow human beings through compassion and empathy.


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