As an adult, you most likely have a defined sense of self. You perceive yourself as separate to the world around you and as a separate being from everyone in the world. If you look closely at your sense of self, you will notice that you define yourself by things like your beliefs, your likes and dislikes, your past experiences and your current perspective.
The problem is that identity (a sense of self) becomes like an egocentric bubble. You perceive other people through your own filters. It becomes very hard to see through other people’s eyes.
Instead, we begin to project our own perspective onto them. When we are practicing empathy, instead of stepping out of our perspective and into their shoes, we take our perspective into their shoes. And so, even though that benefits us in that we may see solutions that they don’t see, we don’t accurately see or feel them.
“The more often you do this exercise, the better you will get at dis identifying with yourself so as to identify with someone else’s perspective. And soon, it may not be a visualization. It may in fact graduate to a full blown out of body experience.”