- The two concepts that have been described here include the concept of perception checking (p. 130) and that of building empathy (p. 139). Perception checking facilitates understandings as it has been said in the text that -“The skill of perception checking provides a better way to check and to share your interpretations.” Furthermore, the writer says that, “What we need, then, to understand others more completely is empathy”. Thus empathy can be defined as the ability to understand the feelings and emotions of other people and trying to re-create their perspective.
- We experience many such situations which may hurt us like our parents’ scolding us but we will be able to understand the reason behind if we can check and share our perceptions which is referred to as perception checking. Furthermore, when things go awry and we see our friends understanding our view-points we feel quite happy. This establishes the importance of empathy in our lives.
- The various aspects of physiological influences are senses, age, health & fatigue, hunger and biological cycles. These factors can affect the state of mind and the body thus influencing moods and behaviors and thus affecting communication. For example, compared to the couples with matching sleeping and waking habits those with mismatched patterns were more prone to conflicts amongst each other.
- Both the concepts described above give rise to the following questions and solutions:-
- How can perception checking help us to understand other people, their thoughts & actions?
Perception checking refers to the act of checking and sharing interpretations. It includes the following series of activities:-
i. Describing the behavior noticed
ii. Stating all possible interpretations of the behavior
iii. Requesting for clarifications about the particular behavior
Thus, perception checking can help us to evaluate the situation holistically and clarify it.
- Can our opinions change after the perception checking process?
Yes, if our initial thoughts about the other person were inappropriate and were based on mere snap judgments then our opinions can surely change since the perception checking process will enable us to come across the reality.
- What is the meaning of empathy?
Empathy can be defined as the ability to understand the feelings and emotions of other people and trying to re-create their perspective. It doesn’t refer to the acceptance of other people’s views but only an attempt towards understanding them by suspending judgments. Empathy demands for both a cognitive understanding as well as emotional contagion.
- How can we generate the ability to become empathetic towards others?
By acquiring the traits of open-mindedness, imagination and commitment we can generate the ability of empathy in us.