The word EMPATHY indicates important roles for our daily lives. The Oxford dictionary (2022) defines the word empathy as the ability to understand and share feeling to another. I have realized that during traumatic events, the first thing that comes in mind is our survival, of ourselves and loved ones, but, can we have that every day for others?
One of the important factors as dance educators is to know our bodies and dance through our expressive movement thriving into hard work to teach dance technique. None the less, the current pandemic event from the end of 2019 until today and future, made us see as living through a survival mode to complete a task instead of living the moment to find what is needed to have empathy towards others, specially our students. And, I know that is not easy at all: Thinking about our families in danger, death, our own selves in a face to face environment and other factors that decreases our emotional strength go keep going. Just remember, everyone is going through a challenging face, and it is our duty as educators to find the bright side on what do we need in order to fulfill a purpose in our students during this time.
Three types of empathy
According to Borody (2020) the three types of empathy constitutes of the following:
Cognitive: When you understand how the other person feels. It it the moment where you understand what is going on with the other person.
Emotionally: Is when your physical emotions grows as we feel the same way as the other person is feeling, meaning: Like when you are going to dance on stage and you have the nervous chills… We do have all that feeling at once!!!
Compassionate: When you are in the mist of becoming that one person that can have a problem-solving skill to help another person. It is very important to find out the best ways to find out how can we identify to help others. I am the kind of person that jumps into looking into problem solving skills for help; and if I can not find the way, I ask for help.
Hence, Behrends, et al. (2016) showed how dance and empathy connects into the bioneurological function including Kinesthetic empathy, cognitive empathy, emotional empathy as an inter-relational experience understanding their own self perception and connecting emotions with others.
Since last semester, I took the Youth Mental Health First Aid training that showed how important are the roles In order to establish a connection with others, understanding each and every one feelings to move for a better future:
- We must ensure that we have our positive self talk. I have an app in my phone that states positive affirmations, making myself better during the day.
- Listening to another person can make you realize that you can support your students to understand why they are feeling that way. I usually ask open eded question that can show how much they matter to me. Then, I thank them for having they’re time to tell me what is going on and let them know how much I understand their problem.
- As an educator, I look into proactive solutions making open ended questions that could remind how to make the bright side of things, instead pulling out of this negative thoughts.
And… Always look to non-judgmental to the other one…. It is not your problem.
The connection with others can creates a pathway to understand their emotions. Educators should let them know that there is always a professional who can talk more deeply into their problem could better support emotionally their positions, making it accountable to obtain further intervention for emotional and mental health support.
If you want more information about the YMHFA I am attaching further information:
Borody, B. (2020). What is empathy? Learn about 3 types of empathy.
Oxford Dictionary (2022). Empathy. https://languages.oup.com/google-dictionary-en/
Behrends, A., Müller, S., & Dziobek, I. (2016). Dancing supports empathy: The potential
of interactional movement and dance for psychotherapy. Eur. Psychother, 8, 99-131.
I hope this will help and hope everyone is safe. Love you all!