Previously, I've written about the dangers of empathy - how empathy can override logic and lead us to make immoral decisions. Compassion is a better option. And indeed there's something called 'compassionate empathy'.
However, there is also 'emotional empathy' and 'cognitive empathy' (and then there are those who can't feel empathy at all).
Emotional empathy refers to those who can feel other people's pain. Who can really imagine what something someone else is going through must feel like and feel it internally for themselves.
This is a beautiful trait but can also be painful if you don't learn to manage it as your empathy triggers your pain centre and can lead to empathy fatigue or exhaustion (often seen in the caring profession).
Then, there's cognitive empathy.
That means that you can imagine, but not feel, what someone else is going through. You can logically think about how something might be hard for someone else. Or, you might read enough to know about other people's struggle and (cognitively) empathise with them by saying all the right stuff.
Be mindful of the cognitive empath because, unlike the emotional empath, this can be faked and used against you to manipulate you into thinking someone gets you when they don't, that someone is nice when they're not, that someone cares when they don't. And is a well-known tool used by narcissists and psychopaths to draw in their victims and romantic partners.
Your life, your choice!
This is a daily, micro-blog, taking less than 2 minutes to read, offering you insights into how presumptions, beliefs and stories shape our lives and worldview, for better or worse.