In the book Brain Rules for Baby, John Medina tells us that empathy is the key to good relationships, and good relationships are the key to a happy life.
This idea makes a lot of sense to me. An empathetic child or adult can understand another person’s feelings, and possibly adjust their behavior or interactions with that person based on those feelings. They may also be able to anticipate the way their words or actions will make others feel, and act accordingly.
More empathy leads to better marriages, friendships, and professional relationships. It might mean fewer tantrums and fighting in toddlers and preschoolers, and less bullying among older students.
What do you think? Is empathy as important as Medina seems to think?
And if so, how can we show empathy to others more, and teach our children to be empathetic?