• Jack Graves

Are You An Empathetic Person? Take This Test

What is empathy really? Are you sure that you tend to be empathetic with people?

Well, don’t worry, when you have finished reading this post you will have both answers.

Empathy is the ability to understand how other people feel without having to go through the same situations they are in. Like when you watch a movie and the main character goes through a really embarrassing situation and you feel second-hand shame.

We like to say that we have empathy because today it is a quality that we embrace and celebrate. Many problems in society would be solved if in general, we were more empathetic.

Surely a troll would not send a hateful message on Twitter to someone fully understanding how that person would feel.

However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Empathy has different levels, and we can all be empathetic at different depths.


Levels of empathy

Psychologists Paul Ekman and Daniel Goleman have studied empathy across three classes or levels, each one more complex than the last. These three are cognitive, emotional, and compassionate.

Cognitive empathy is the most basic. It is the ability to know the feelings of another person. It’s when you know that it hurt someone to fall face-first off the skateboard or that your friend is worried about his missing dog. It is simply acknowledging the emotions of others without actually sharing them.


Then Emotional empathy goes a step further. This is when, in addition to understanding these emotions, you feel them as if they were yours. When you cry for the death of your friend’s parents, even if you haven’t met them. You are not the one who lives the situation but you feel as if you are. You understand the feelings and you share them.

And finally, the mother of empathy: the Compassionate. It joins all of the above and also puts us to work. At this level, we understand and share the feelings of others, and also, we feel that we must get involved. Being with the other person and trying to solve it or at least make it easier to carry.

Not all of us handle the three levels of empathy in the same way. Some of us limit ourselves to Emotional, but we don’t get to the point of Compassionate. Others find it difficult to even have cognitive empathy.

Are you empathetic?

How do you really know if you have empathy with the people around you? Well, to know for sure you would have to undergo observation and several tests with professionals.

Although, luckily for you, there is a faster way to check. You just have to keep reading… or I’ll start crying.


Humans tend to mimic the actions of their peers, especially facial expressions. It has been identified that the higher the level of empathy, the more we imitate these expressions.

A study has linked the contagiousness of yawning with empathy. So it’s believed that empathic people are more likely to yawn after watching videos or images of people yawning.

So, if after looking at the various GIFs that I have added in the post you have yawned at least once, it would be fair to assume that you are an empathetic person.

How did it go? Did you yawn at least once? I have done it several times but possibly it is because it is 8:00 a.m. and I haven’t had my coffee.

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