What Spending Time With Animals Can Teach Us About Empathy:

Thrive Global | By: Dr. Aysha Akhtar | May 17, 2019:

Research shows interacting with animals can help foster emotional intelligence and human connection.

Harry Truman famously said, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog!” Actually, there is much dispute whether he ever uttered those words. But I bet when you just read his supposed quote, you instinctively agreed with it, didn’t you?

The quote has a double meaning. Animals might be the only friendly faces in the man-eat-man world of politics. Animals also connect us with one another.They make us more likeable. In the past 150 years, all the US presidents brought animal companions with them to the White House, with the exception of Donald Trump.

Recent studies have shed light on how animals act as social lubricants. Researchers found that strangers were more likely to approach and start friendly conversations with people in wheelchairs if they had animals with them. Animals are icebreakers.

They can bring the most unlikely people together for a shared experience, much like David saw with the inmates taking care of the bird who, up until that point, had barely uttered a word to one another…

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