Author Topic: Lifehacker - The Importance of Empathy in Everyday Life  (Read 228 times)

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Offline jr2

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Lifehacker - The Importance of Empathy in Everyday Life
Meant to post this earlier, I thought it was good:

http://lifehacker.com/the-importance-of-empathy-in-everyday-life-1791961488

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Lifehacker - The Importance of Empathy in Everyday Life
I wish the author to live few months in post-soviet country like I do. Percentage of opportunists, manipulators, sociopaths and psychopaths in Poland or Ukraine is higher than in England or France for example. All efforts to understand other prople in empathic way ends up in being burned out and internally destroyed. Plus if you're empathic and living in such society, you are likely to attach toxic people to yourself. Empathy also comes with higher sensitivity. If something hurts, it hurts more than average human feel it. Being open this way to people around is one-way ticket to neurosis and depression.

I don't know who the author is, but he has no idea what the empathy actually looks like. Character of Will Graham from Hannibal TV series is actually the best show of empathic skills I've seen so far. Author of the video is actually talking about emotional intelligence.
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Lifehacker - The Importance of Empathy in Everyday Life
Empathy is extremely overrated, but I see Nyctaeus has made that point already ;).

Paul Bloom makes the point on his book Against Empathy, and here's a conversation he had with Sam Harris where he expands on his reasonings:

https://soundcloud.com/samharrisorg/56-abusing-dolores-a-conversation-with-paul-bloom


 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Lifehacker - The Importance of Empathy in Everyday Life
I was dating empathic girl something like 6-7 years ago. She was talking about auras, chakras, energies and other stuff like that. I found her a little crazy, but also very intelligent. Year ago situation repeated with different kind of girl, much more rational. The first one was extravert and impulsive, while the second was calm, withdrawn and extremly wary. They both proven me numerous times how good are they at reading people, feeling emotional state of others etc. I had this feeling like they read people like open books.

Also both were extremly exhausted and full of hate for people around. Both after few relationships with psychopaths. Always the same scenario - full of kindness and understanding at start, manipulating and lying after few months. I linked them and noticed both girls were just tired of living among people, so they used to avoid big masses and live more outsider-like. Looks like their empathy was something they were actually sentenced to.

I have no idea how exactly this work, expecially being rather science and classic psychology enthusiast rather than some newfangled theories about absorbing emotions from people and enviroment, but I had multiple opportunities to observe how empathy works. Nowadays extended empathic abilities seems to be more like burden.

BTW. Second girl was later diagnosed with borderline and mirror-personality :P.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 11:58:36 am by Nyctaeus »
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Offline Dragon

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Re: Lifehacker - The Importance of Empathy in Everyday Life
I lack empathy and I'm proud of it. :) It really does make my life easier, along with being short on emotions in general. Only recently-ish I understood why most other people are incapable of thinking completely rationally and why things like Overton window are a thing. Emotional baggage causes them to respond by their feelings instead of following an evidence-based reasoning. Morality, ethics and humanitarianism aren't about making making others feel good - they're about making yourself feel good. It's only due to empathy that others figure into it at all. It's about what we think other people think, not what they actually think. Yes, we're all selfish bastards, even when we're not. :) Realizing this is the first step to transcending evolutionary behavioral adaptations and, for lack of better term, "living consciously" (or at least as close as you can get to that in a human body).

If you ever wonder why I'm so jaded, it's because I live in a world built on utter humbug and I know that all too well. Lack of empathy can actually make it easier to get into another person's head, which is especially powerful since you remain uninfluenced by their own feelings. The key here is to realize people pretty much always follow some sort of logic, only most of the time with their emotions as input, as opposed to facts (not only that, for sane people, the logic is generally the most straightforward one possible). I lack the acting skills (or desire, I chose to be a decent person) to put it to full use, but someone who, besides empathy, lacks principles, can (and such people often do) manipulate people at his or her leisure. I mostly use this ability to observe and predict their actions (to my detriment, as it turned out. See my posts in political threads for example where that got me...).

And yeah, it makes living in a post-Soviet country much easier (effective immunity to cons, ads, propaganda and begging. What more could you ask for? :)). I head Russians in particular are even less emphatic and emotional than Poles (which is why I sympathize with them so much. They're easier to understand), so this is probably a Slavic thing. I often get frustrated with Westerners because of that, too. It's not that they can't see or understand certain things, the refuse to do so, just because it doesn't fit their view of what's acceptable.

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Lifehacker - The Importance of Empathy in Everyday Life
Here's Paul Bloom in a shorter interview with some "visuals" so you can empathise more with him while he tells you how empathy is wrong: