How Can Empathy Shape Your Values?

Comments (21)

How Can Empathy Shape Your Values?

By: Brian Maloney

One of the most underrated concepts that most people overlook is approaching life from an empathetic standpoint.

Despite our best intentions, it is not always that we live by this ethical code that is deeply embedded in all of us.

Much of my writings are geared to logical approaches to a an overwhelming world and this is definitely no exception. I don't want to underestimate the importance of this concept because I feel it is so extremely powerful.

It is quite intriguing to me that this world is made up of so many beautiful, yet so many diluted and unscrupulous, minds. Obviously, people are not born with certain personality deficiencies, as much of it is learned behaviors.

To intimately understand and comprehend another's feelings, thoughts, and motives is much of what empathy resonates.

However, this is easier said than done. An awesome way to truly understand your own set of values, is to genuinely approach life indiscrimanently with this viewpoint.

So how can empathy really help design a system of higher and lower values so easily?

It is just like the Golden Rule says, treat everyone like you would want to be treated.

Would you want to be belittled constantly? No. Would you want to be disregarded by others? No. Does being disrespected hurt? Yes.

Temporarily plant your mind into another's and attempt to understand their plights.

Although you may say, Brian, why should I always respect people when most of them have no respect for others anyway?

If our entire world treated each other in this manner, most everyone would have contempt for everyone else.

By taking a stroll in someone else's shoes when dealing with all people; you automatically detach from the very learned narcissism we all are accustomed to and approach your relationships more positively and kinder.

In my humble opinion, it is by far the most selfless way to approach ones life, so to deny its significance would definitely be wrong!

By understanding how you would like to be treated and convert this mindset over to how others should be treated, then a solid foundation for how your own values can be built upon.

This, in turn, assists in shaping what is truly important to what is merely nonsensical. Having an empathetic mindset adds clarity and purity as opposed to being caught up in a selfish tunnel of me and more me.

Certainly, we are all going to have our transgressions, but this approach will limit them and yield more piece of mind, that your intentions towards others are not to be harmful, but harmless.

Without a doubt, you will always encounter people who simply do not care about your feelings, only their own. Don't let these people derail your good intentions.

Try to always stay in this mindset. It will surely be critical to your mental health. I know this may sound like some sermon, but think of the alternative mindset and the negativity attached to it.

Of course it's difficult to respect anyone who blatantly disrespects you, but this doesn't mean you should approach life so negatively.

By sending a message to others that you respect them as a human being and not some tangible object standing before them, you naturally disarm their defenses, and begin speaking to the most real part of them.

Wanting to have a good heart and treating people with dignity is something we should all strive for on a consistent basis.

If this uptempo world is to progress, we all need to do our part by approaching it empathetically and continue to form our values in accordance to this mindset.

About The Author

Brian Maloney -

Want to improve your personal values? Get high-quality relationship advice for guys and women from a 'Logical' standpoint. Visit

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readytolearn 02.11.2008. 00:46

I am writing my essay on how my own values are aligned with those of the social work profession? I understand that our personal values will have a bearing on the decisions we make and the steps that we take. With that in mind, these are my personal values I believe in treating everyone with respect and dignity, and treating everyone fairly regardless of our race, ethncity, social class, religion, and cultural background. I also believe in the importance of family relationships and how those will affect who you are and shape you, in hard work.


Admin 02.11.2008. 00:46

I would take out the last sentence, because as a social worker you will often work with individuals from broken homes, and saying you have a strong belief in the importance of family relationships may conflict with working with these individuals, or cases of domestic violence, etc.

Also, "will affect how you are and shape you, in hard work" doesn't really make sense.

You may also want to include something about empathy, which is important to social work.

Up until the last sentence I think it's great :)


Z 02.07.2011. 04:37

Will getting rid of my loneliness help me out a lot to stop watching porn? Will getting rid of my loneliness help me out a lot to stop watching porn?
I'm not talking about the when I get a girlfriend type of thing, but attacking the loneliness at it's roots.

Also please pray that God will give me the grace to help me to stop looking at it.


Admin 02.07.2011. 04:37

loneliness is not easy. Powerful emotions are involved,and can also make you a vulnerable pray. maybe porn has become your emotional crutch? A way for you to escape reality? porn, thaugh it seems harmless...does ALOT of damage! Pornography shapes attitudes and influences behavior. Its messages are enticing primarily because they are fantasy and thus presented as more exciting than the real thing. how do you feel after watching porn? Im guessing no better than before.
viewing pornography is unloving, it promotes self gratification. Is it logical to treat loneliness, by an activity where in the end your still by yourself?
here are some tips on how to combat loneliness....
-Keep in mind that your situation can be changed, that it is not a permanent situation but a common experience shared by others.
-Do not be unreasonably demanding of yourself.
-Use the time you spend alone doing creative things and learning new skills.
-Value your friends and their unique qualities. Work toward developing a good circle of friends. Ask for ideas from older, experienced ones.
-Do things for others?give them a smile, express a kind word, share a kind thought with them. Feeling needed by others is an antidote to loneliness.
-Avoid fantasizing about movie or TV stars or Internet or literature characters, imagining a relationship with them.
-If you are married, do not expect your mate to meet all your emotional needs. Learn to give and take, to help and support each other.
- Learn to talk to others and to be a good listener. Focus on other people and their interests. Show empathy.
-Acknowledge that you feel lonely, and talk to a mature friend, someone you trust. Don't suffer in silence.
-Avoid drinking too much, or do not drink at all. Alcohol does not drown your problems?with time they float to the surface again.
- Avoid pride. Forgive those who hurt you, and make amends. Be willing to let down your defenses.

hope this helps ;)


Hannah King 24.01.2011. 02:28

What is mankind like in the state of nature? What is mankind like in the state of nature? Would they act out of self-interest or would they be understanding and rational? In this case, state of nature is a hypothetical situation where no government system is in place.
I understand that any answers are based on personal opinion and there are no 'right' answers, but I am just looking for people's opinions. Thanks!

Hannah King

Admin 24.01.2011. 02:28

We have many examples of mankind removed from all authority. Bereft of the technology they considered essential and thrust into places strange, remote and often dire. Shipwrecked crews are some of our best examples. Pioneers on frontiers, settlers in then distant lands.

What has consistently happened in those groups which survived was a sort of honor system developed. The ability to cooperate relies more on honor than it does empathy. One can be empathetic all they want but it is honor and belief which overcomes selfishness far more often than empathy.

The code of honor in which these people lived was shaped by the circumstances in which they faced. In the US frontier days (Old West) cowardice was one of the most unspeakable things a man could be. Shooting a coward was considered the right thing to do. A man who would not defend himself could not be counted on to cover your back if attacked by outlaws, hostile natives, wild animals or any other threats. It was a dangerous world and one needed courage to survive and cooperation meant depending upon your fellows. Ancient Viking society created a very strong code of honor as they were often isolated and in strange lands with tenuous leadership if any at all if the expedition leader were seriously injured or killed. Through trial and error combined with the innate sense of fairness born to every human being a system was worked out to best improve a group's survival under such circumstances.

Law lives in one's heart or it is merely empty words on a piece of paper. No unjust law can ever be enforced without oppression and brutality more than equal to the unjustness of the law. Even then only the most temporary enforcement can be achieved. Passing a law by itself has never solved any problems but is often the source of such problems. All governments big and small rule with the consent of the people to a greater or lessor extent. No totalitarian government cannot be overcome should the courage and will of the people be equal to the task. As such laws that are enforceable are merely the codification of what already exists in society. We have laws against murder for example yet we have tens of thousands of them every year. Heavily armed societies such as the Swiss have virtually no murder while totally unarmed societies are generally those with the highest murder rates, but only generally. Japan has one of the strictest bans on weapons and a very low murder rate. There's an old phrase "you cannot legislate morality" and it's true.

You stop at a red light not because there is a law against driving through it. Not because you feel any sympathy for drivers coming the other way but because if you fail to yield you may get through this time but somebody else will fail to yield and eventually get you. You do not take other's property because of a fear of getting caught. You do so because of how you would feel if somebody took your property. Those who lack those societal values are "criminals". Their lack of empathy however often being a conflict in societal values. This "rightness" is our moral compass. It can be externally inspired such as religion or internally through both learned and intrinsic values, a combination of both or it can be just raw empathy. It still boils down to how it aid cooperative efforts which is what society is about.


Pouyan 25.09.2007. 15:51

What values is worth bringing to the table? Hi, I am a 23 year old and planning on getting married sometime. I feel like the right partner should share some of these values:
1) has faith in God
2) Not be extravagant
3) Does not have issue or complaints with not having certain possessions (like a car, driver, shoe, cloth)
4) keeps in shape and cares about herself and family
5) Likes to raise kids in the best way
6) Emotionally is independent or show talent and potential for growth
7) willing to open up and learn from each other and have virtues such as patience, kindness and forgiveness

I can live by all these values myself so that's why I expect the same from my wife. What is your opinion on these values?




Admin 25.09.2007. 15:51

I wouldn't say those are not values, I'd say most of your list are characteristics....values are honesty, integrity, empathy...etc.......

Pick who you want to pick......good luck to you


Aaron 03.07.2010. 07:35

What style of martial arts focuses mostly on the mental aspect of training? What form of martial arts would be best for me??


Admin 03.07.2010. 07:35

I hope this will help as you are asking about the mental training aspect.

Well, it depends on you ? What?s for? You need it in a war or in your life? To me all martial arts focus on this kind of mental aspects when the master sees you are ready for it. But again you need to state more in what aspect do you need it? Here I attach few answers that might help you. Read it with clear mind and knowledge purposed.

What is silat?

Silat is the traditional art of war of the Malay race, who are inhabitants the southern part of the Asian continent, covering the Malay Archipelago from the Easter Island in the east to Madagascar Island in the west. Silat, Gayung, Pencak and Kali bring the same meaning. More information about silat online,

What is Silat Education in Malaysia?

Silat is the traditional educational institution representing for the Malay gallantry that has contributed to the sociocultural and has mould well-balanced human beings physically and spiritually.

On the outside, Silat is the knowledge and skill that relates to worldly needs like ilmu firasat (foresight), ilmu jiwa (spirituality) ilmu senjata (weaponry), ilmu urut (massage), ilmu perubatan (medical), ilmu urusan diri (self management) senam (exercise), ilmu mempertahankan diri (self defence) along with petua (guides) and pantang larang (do?s and don?ts?) (Kassim Ahmad. 1973, Abd Mutalib Ghani. 1991).

Amalan Batin (Spiritual practices) is about lessons that builds up one?s soul and spirituality that is based on religion or beliefs. After the Malays accepted Islam, issues on spiritual knowledge was based on Islamic teachings. The Islamic spiritual teachings replaced the previous spiritualism which was inclined toward using supernatural power with the use of talismans, spells, supernatural tools, supernatural creatures (unseen forces) and spirits with knowledge, intelligence, and sources of revelation based on the Quran and Sunnah. Islam as a complete spiritualism has increased the value of beings to perfection.

Other than stressing on practices based on Islamic principle, Iman (faith) and Ihsan (empathy), silat exponents are also introduced to the noble characters of Muhammad and other messengers of God, and their disciples. The silat exponents are directly nurtured with noble values such as discipline, selflessness, good deeds, patriotism, chivalry, self esteem, and nationalism. Language as a physical and spiritual tool of communication in the training of silat had contributed to the wealth of istilah(teminalogy) and the spirit of having the Malay language as the bahasa pahlawan (language of a warrior). The spiritual education makes silat as an artistic and spiritual martial art.

The silat movements are based on the movements of human beings according to their geometrical measurements. The curriculum also uses the basic traditional silat lessons such as the Bunga Sembah and Tapak Empat in order to produce seven lessons in silat which are the Bunga, jurus, Belebat, Tapak, Buah Pukul, Tempur Seni and Tempur Bela Diri.

In Bunga, there are basic silat movements including the tujuh langkah (seven steps), tujuh kuda-kuda (seven stances) and tujuh limbai tangan (seven hand shape). Gerak jurus is based on the movements of bunga sembah that creates seven defensive or offensive actions to be used on the target. Belebat creates movements or steps before bertempur (battle), and it stresses on methods of receiving an attack and to turn it back against the opponent, followed by another offensive move. Tapak is the pattern of the movements of feet on the floor. Tempur Silat can be categorized into two, Tempur seni (artistic) and tempur beladiri (self defense). Tempur Seni builds up one?s silat skills by brushing up his or her skills in tapak empat, galah panjang and melilit.

The 3 basic forms of attacks would be tikam (to stab), parang (to behead) and tetak (to chop). There are seven methods in receiving attacks, which are sekat, sentak, kedu, tindih, sisip, sagang and potong. The Simbo move acts as a signal to exchange attacks and paras acts as a signal to stop. The philosophy of silat lies in the Sikap Pendekar Silat or A WARRIOR?S ATTITUDE

A WARRIOR?S ATTITUDE : A Pendekar (warrior) is a being who has knowledge, practices and is skillful in silat internally (spiritually) and externally (physically), based on the Malay custom, arts and culture in parallel with syarak (Islamic canon law), one that uses his knowledge and crafts at the right place for justice and peace with a calm soul with physical properties based on the spirit of a chivalrous majestic warrior.

I can write more if you want ? but I need to know more what exactly do you mean with mental training and what?s for.


Jake 12.09.2010. 21:19

Can we be conditioned to suppress empathy? I was in a debate with my brother about what would happen to a society without rules or law. He said everyone would kill each other because there is nothing there to stop them. I said not everyone would do that. Some people would help each other and be kind because most people (people who are normal without some disorder) have inherent empathy which would stop them from doing those things. he claimed that humans are a blank slate which can be conditioned to do whatever you want. What do you think, are we born a blank slate or with some core values/empathy?


Admin 12.09.2010. 21:19

People are social animals. From our earliest days we have gathered together for common support. People without social connective abilities do not do well and were selected out over time. If you look at our collective history there has been a trend toward socialization, not away from it as your brother suggests. Society without rules or law has existed in the distant past and this led to the creation of more or less organized society. Carl Jung noted years ago that humans have developed a "collective unconscious" and this argues against the blank slate idea. Where I would agree with your brother is that you can teach individuals how to be anti-social is you were so inclined. The idea of a blank slate is not relative in that formula, however, as it would involve reinforcing anti-social behaviors to shape the person to behave in a particular way.

Ask your brother how it is that people haven't killed each other already, given that in prehistoric times there was little formal society to stop that behavior. And ask why primitive societies emerged if society was bent on killing everyone else off.


. 15.01.2008. 13:42

What are the limitations of Servqual model in measuring service quality? source?


Admin 15.01.2008. 13:42

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
SERVQUAL or RATER is a service quality framework. SERVQUAL was developed in the mid eighties by Zeithaml, Parasuraman & Berry.

[edit] Concept
SERVQUAL was originally measured on 10 aspects of service quality: reliability, responsiveness, competence, access, courtesy, communication, credibility, security, understanding or knowing the customer and tangibles. It measures the gap between customer expectations and experience.

By the early nineties the authors had refined the model to the useful acronym RATER:

Empathy, and
SERVQUAL has its detractors and is considered overly complex, subjective and statistically unreliable. The simplified RATER model however is a simple and useful model for qualitatively exploring and assessing customers' service experiences and has been used widely by service delivery organizations. It is an efficient model in helping an organization shape up its efforts in bridging the gap between perceived and expected service.

[edit] Criticisms
Francis Buttle critiques SERVQUAL in the article "SERVQUAL: review, critique, research agenda" on a number of theoretical and operational bases. He particularly notes that SERVQUAL's 5 dimensions are not universals, and that the model fails to draw on established economic, statistical and psychological theory. Although SERVQUAL's face and construct validity are in doubt, it is widely used in published and modified forms to measure customer expectations and perceptions of service quality.

Luis Lages and Joana Fernandes in the article "The SERPVAL scale: A multi-item instrument for measuring service personal values" suggests that consumer final decisions are taken at a higher-level of abstraction. Similarly to the SERVQUAL scale, the Service Personal Values (SERPVAL) scale is also multi-dimensional. It presents three dimensions of service value to 1) peaceful life, 2) social recognition, and 3) social integration. All three SERPVAL dimensions are associated with consumer satisfaction. While service value to social integration is related only with loyalty, service value to peaceful life is associated with both loyalty and repurchase intent.

[edit] References
Zeithaml, Parasuraman & Berry, "Delivering Quality Service; Balancing Customer Perceptions and Expectations," Free Press, 1990.
Francis Buttle, 1996, "SERVQUAL: review, critique, research agenda," European Journal of Marketing, Vol.30, Issue 1, pp.8-31
Luis Filipe Lages & Joana Cosme Fernandes, 2005, "The SERPVAL scale: A multi-item instrument for measuring service personal values", Journal of Business Research, Vol.58, Issue 11, pp. 1562-1572.

This business-related article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.
Nyeck, Morales, Ladhari, and Pons (2002) stated the SERVQUAL measuring tool ?remains the most complete attempt to conceptualize and measure service quality? (p. 101). The main benefit to the SERVQUAL measuring tool is the ability of researchers to examine numerous service industries such as healthcare, banking, financial services, and education (Nyeck, Morales, Ladhari,& Pons, 2002). The fact that SERVQUAL has critics does not render the measuring tool moot. Rather, the criticism received concerning SERVQUAL measuring tool may have more to do with how researchers use the tool. Nyeck, Morales, Ladhari, and Pons (2002) reviewed 40 articles that made use of the SERVQUAL measuring tool and discovered ?that few researchers concern themselves with the validation of the measuring tool? (p. 106).


Nyeck, S., Morales, M., Ladhari, R., & Pons, F. (2002). 10 years of service

quality measurement: reviewing the use of the SERVQUAL instrument.

Cuadernos de Difusion, 7(13), 101-107. Retrieved July 8, 2007, from


Bartleby 10.07.2011. 05:49

Why are American families becoming so dysfunctional, in your view? Everything from economics to geographical distances and personal interests have eroded families in the United States to the point that we can't seem to stand our immediate family or cousins. These factors, compounded by disagreements, personality conflicts, and misunderstandings seem only to add to the permanent dysfunctional condition.


Admin 10.07.2011. 05:49

Having traveled a lot to a lot of countries I can see how we got to the position we are today..
First off all when I was a children social media and society was not so affected as now, with this I mean: No violence,racism,classism,gossip,bad nutrtion,drugs,pornography,ego based values,hollywood,fashion etc ,etc.
So with all the pressures and influence of the media and institutions people begin to start acting in more defensive mode...just reality shows alone shape the ideals of the younger generations making them believe that something is "cool" with out explaining why or how they will just do it because on tv and everybody its does it so they wanna belong to groups and do it...
Plus the EGO based acculturation plays and important role , for example a teenager that competes to have better clothes that her friends because some Hollywood teen dresses flashy, so mom and dad are so busy with some problem like the ressesion($$$ to the table) or so influenced by the media on other grown up pressures that they don't pay attention to her serious(most people have come to a point to believe that aspects as this are normal teenage worries!) problem of self acceptance.. creating a chain reaction with side effects that will later manifest on problems like anorexia, teen pregnancy, alcohol or lost of emotional empathy towards other....but mom and dad think that she we will learn everything on the internet....right chatting with a much older man on Facebook... and learning about sexuality in pornography sites... learning that woman should be fe fierce and closed emotionally but look astonishing sexy or pretty in the outside and have the latest fashion, and to be in defensive mode because the other girls(like many shows show) could hurt her with gossip or other ways(just like present teen TV shows)...
All and all,it is my perception that Institutions aren't helping.... every generation gets raised up with more drugs and harmful synthetic drugs and aliments that play a big role in the chemical and hormonal processes of the individual. Adding the amazing trance hypnotism of social media with the conscious and unconscious programming of negative values and the modern parents that the in their ignorance believe its normal for their children to watch cartoons such as South Park , Family Guy American Guy...or shows Like Jersey Shores , The Bachelorette (inducing competition for ...) Tila Tequila were all is Sex ...Bret Michel's where he tries to find love with sex ,drugs and rock and roll.....
Or the parent that is so lazy to raise their kids in a good way explaining that rage, gangs, sex, drugs, bad nutrition , racism, classism ,tv shows , gossip, fashion etc etc are not moral.... basic morals and ethics... and buys the complete Social Media hipnotic package (if he she can afford it , if not then regular Dr .Phil public tv shows!) and lets their children drug their minds with all this transnational and programation poisions of the mind body and soul....
So guess what people think all of this does not affect them...well it does, it is so strong that people are not even aware that they have made a transition of hundreds of years to a negative path in just decades.... what is more amazing is that all this programation goes to your sub conscious mind where you reflect it in your the expression of all this messed up melting pot is the current dysfunctional families....but not only the families....but just look as how is America...and it's really more that the transnational owned TV news that lie about how bad it is ...and its getting worse every day... just turn on the TV to see something messed up...whether in the News, reality shows, cartoons ,even series with so much violence and more...
Furthermore this lost of values ,ethics and morals that as been proved to had happen in the human brain has cut basic empathic feelings of human feelings such as compassion, or love... replacing this with attitudes like "why should I care" or "it's messe up but that's life" or "someone will do something I will just give a coin to a homeless person or 5 dollars to a charity to feel better with my self"...
There is this movie that reflects how America really is but how you are unaware ...I highly recommend you to see it and to compare it with the current America and see how all of this is happening movie is called THX 1339
If you want to wake up and do something for your self ,for your country for the world and your family
I also highly recommend you to watch this , just watch.



Lou Hugo 05.07.2007. 13:19

What factors may influence the development of emotions and personality in a young child? This for a child care and early education essay

Lou Hugo

Admin 05.07.2007. 13:19

Disclaimer: Many people believe - including some professors - that biology has no influence over our personality but everything is shaped by our environment. Find out if your professor is open to this research before using it or you will get crucified.

We have five main personality traits that are gentic: neuroticism, sensation seeking, empathy, ability to defer gratification, creativity. Take a random mix of these from the parents and there ya go. Though think of the connection of these two like playing poker. It takes two things in poker to win, luck and skill. Skill you take to the table and the luck is dealt you. So someone might not be too happy if they high values for empathy and creativity and born into a warzone, but have a cheerful personality if born in the states.


Rest in pieces, Feminism. 18.08.2009. 20:29

do feminists believe their sons will grow up to be a rapist? if so, how do they raise their sons to prevent that from happening?

Rest in pieces, Feminism.

Admin 18.08.2009. 20:29

I want you to go google "Den of the biting Beaver"

She is a feminist, who blogs about her sons and in various blogs said how she wanted to kill her eldest son for she thought he was a rapist because...he looked at porn, so she was convinced he was indeed a rapist.

Actually, her blog is invite only, but there are some places you can go to find it. She is a sick ticket, her profile picture is a beaver biting a log in half...shaped like a mans parts.

"If you think that a woman in a porn has not given her consent for everyone to use her image for sexual gratification, then she has been raped by those people. I don't wholly subscribe to that, but it is logically sound."

"I, as their parent and number one source of information about women, must take the time to tell them what constitutes rape, what rape is. It's my job to tell them that No means No. If I wait for others to do it it simply will not get done and I'll be turning a man loose in this society whom I cannot vouch for. We simply don't want to believe that our boys are capable of such atrocities but we, as Mothers and Women, have a responsibility to own the fact that if they're men, they're capable, unless and until we tell them otherwise. I don't know how to do it, I have no earthly idea how to tell my children about rape. I don't want to think about it, I've spent my life refusing to think about it, but now I have to think about it. I have to think about it so that my son's high-school prom date is safe." She is talking about her son here.

"My boys are good boys, they're smart boys, but they are boys and as such, the Patriarchy want them. The Patriarchy is doing it's level-best to assimilate my boys and bring them into the folds of Male Power and Privilege and it's my job to put the spark of empathy, the fire of self-determination and respect into their young minds to make women safer. To make their wives and girlfriends and fuck buddies safe from them, because left unchecked they could rape, they already have the equipment."

"Societally we, as mothers and womyn, are expected to have this sort of unconditional love for our offspring. We're expected to martyr ourselves, our values and everyone around us for the sake of our children. And you know, I DO love my children, I love them big bunches, but I continue to wish that I could either get through to this kid or warn future womyn about his dangerous ideals."

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