I don't think empathy is a complicated thing at all. The only requirement is that we allow ourselves to feel, everything. Which isn't something encouraged in our culture. We have a pill or diagnosis for everything other than happy, and all this positive thinking, don't let stuff get you down stuff is taking away, not realizing is that we need to be connected and to feel the full spectrum of our emotions to feel empathy. We need to feel our anger, fear, despair, etc. to develop and feel empathy. I bet you anything there's a direct correlation, if feeling decreases in a culture, so does empathy. I've been doing a lot of emotional work the past year, learning to feel, identify, and get used to the sensation each feeling gives me. I feel a lot lighter, energetic, clearer, and I'm almost always calm, without distractions or vices.
The best thing this work gave me is empathy, I genuinely care for people, the world. I also get so frustrated when people use certain justifications as an excuse to bully and belittle people. The most common and pervasive one is the puritan work ethic mentality. "Oh Americans are so obese cause they're all lazy fat-asses. American is so poor cause they're too lazy too get another job and turn off the TV. America has so much debt cause they're too undisciplined to put the credit card away, Grades are so bad because kids just don't care and wanna sit around and play video-games" Basically all the world's problems are caused by people being too lazy
It's fucking disgusting the way we treat each other and have so little faith that we're all hard working, good people. Empathy is the trait that has allowed me to question all these bullshit beliefs and actually restore my faith in people. I don't know how I know, I just know that everybody is trying, everybody is working hard, and that something IS wrong in the country, and I don't think it's because people are being "too lazy"
Another nifty trait it gave me, is that I can directly feel my boyfriend's feelings
I can feel when he's sad, angry, happy, etc. directly, as if they were my feelings. I was actually able to feel his sadness directly about something very personal, as if it was my own. It's a cool ability.
Basically I think empathy isn't something complicated that needs to be taught in workshops
yeah that's what we need more overly complicated dry bullshit lectures. Empathy is something humans should NATURALLY do, it's like breathing, it's not hard, it's not work, it just happens, if we're open to it and open fully to ourselves and all our feelings, than we can open ourselves to others, easily, without any sort of conscious decision.