Empathy

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Empathy

Summary:
– walk a mile in my shoes
– there is a plethora of empathy self-help books
– definition: a disposition to have emotions vicariously with another person (either actual or imagined) – it is a fundamentally social response (but it is not a contagion, but rather has a cognitive element where you imagine what it would be like to feel like the other person
– empathy is dyadic (between two people)
– it is a German term that has increasingly come into use over the last 100 years
– it is considered to be similar to sympathy

What does psychology say about empathy?
1) empathy tends not to arise in groups of people (& if it is, it is not particularly motivating & in fact can be debilitating & disempowerment in terms of being able to do something; whereas outrage at injustice can be highly motivating)
2) empathy tends to occur between people who are similar to us

– emotions are made for the here & now – for responding to an immediate situation

– however, if you sit on the emotion of anger & even after a period of time you still feel wronged, then your continuing anger is probably telling you it is right to act on it & the sense of being wronged

– empathy is a wonderful emotion for friendship & family
– & their suffering is a matter for your own personal concern

Source: The Philosopher’s Zone | ABC RN | Podcast date: 18 January 2015

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