Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s place to feel what they’re feeling. You don’t have vested interest. For example, when someone’s angry with you about something, instead of defending your position, you would for a moment take a deep breath, take a step back and try to understand where they are coming from.
In relationships, everyone wants the same thing. They want a calm, peaceful, loving, fun relationship. But it depends on how much tolerance a person has for excitement. In many instances of relationships, women are more excitement junkies than men. Men probably put their excitement in things like sports and work. Women look at thier emotional lives to be more fulfilling then men. Men often ask for little and offer little in relationships to a certain extent. But that is not necessarily an indictment because women are going out into the wider world and working more. They are investing more of their self-image in their work. Most women that I know would view their relationships at least as important if not more important then their professional life. I think with a man that’s not the case until they retire and then it becomes important again.
The thing about empathy is depending on how you define it. Instead of defending your position for a moment, see what the other person’s position might feel like it. I myself may have one of those over developed empathic genes. A friend once said that the problem with me is that you always understand both sides, which always slows you down. But its part of the work I do as well. Its one of the ways I can do the work. For me, it’s almost mystical. It’s like flowing out of me over to them to see how it feels to be them at that moment. Otherwise you get very judgmental. It’s my way or the high way or how come you didn’t see this. All that is not the least bit helpful in this kind of business.
We can agree that women probably invest more in relationships, which may make them appear to be more empathic. Empathy is the ability to feel what someone else feels or to assume you get an approximation of how they feel.