Confusions surrounding Empathy

Some confusion exists around the term empathy. Next to that, the effects of empathy greatly vary depending on the context it is applied in. Additional confusion is created when benefits from one context are brought up as potential benefit for another context. This article starts with the terminology, and then dives into context and more.

In the public domain, empathy is often confused with sympathy. This is a truly emphatic person feels exactly what others are feeling, but may not sympathize with every emotional response to a given situation. Rest assured that an empath will not judge people’s feelings easily, but they are more prone to judge how people handle those feelings. Even without judgment the empath may still have trouble handling the stuff they pickup from people. Either way, many empaths will decide to avoid people when their vibe is difficult for them one way or another. So empathy definitely doesn’t imply sympathy but in the public domain, sympathy is often intended or implied when calling for empathy.

Regarding context, there is a big difference between empathy on the level of 1-1 contact, and what I call pseudo-empathy on the societal level.

In the 1-1 we can actually know what a person feels by simply tuning in and sensing them from a non judging state of mind. Then, provided you are able to remain open while connected, powerful healing can occur through a process called entrainment. This is how the healing side of the work we teach on this site works, so we know from experience how powerful entraiment can be.

On the societal level this works out differently. It is more difficult to tune in to the feelings of a group, as these are diffuse mix. Groups do share circumstances, but actual feelings will vary due to differences in how individuals process those circumstances. Although a
common denominator exists, trying to determine it from outside often turns into guesswork rather then empathy, and guessing from outside easily turn into projecting external values onto others. Or it boils down to honoring the loudest voices within the group. Either way, the presumed group feelings are not accurate representation. For the healing part, because the connection is more difficult, entrainment is out of reach, which makes it unlikely that an emphatic approach produces the same benefits in societal context then in 1-1 context.

Having touched on context, let’s discuss the how, because the how can even be more relevant then the what. Finding the right approach may not be an exclusive decision of what (empathy/ ratio or something else) but more a multi layered decision of how a mix of empathy/ ratio/.. can be applied. Nowadays, the narrow tunnel vision is being built within online confirmation bubbles negatively affects the how. People that advocate something, often advocate it as a singular perspective to cure everything. Interest group promoter hyper focus on the group, and become blind for collateral damage to other groups. Emotional charge is the main fuel for such a narrowing process, but reality teaches us again and again that there are no singular perspectives repeatedly applicable to the infinite complexity of reality. Sometimes an emphatic approach will produce good results, sometimes not

For example, empathy is often called for if societal groups are in need, either emotionally or physically. Let’s not zoom into the obvious need for relief of physical need, and the conflict of interest that often causes it not be provided to certain groups. This external angle is already sufficiently covered elsewhere.
Let’s focus on the presumed urgency of emotional need. Providing immediate relief is tempting but only shows half the picture. What is left out is the natural capacity of any individual to release their emotions, and reduce the emotional distress in that way. This is the skill that is taught on this website, and we see it as a powerful gift to the individual. Taking it away with a non-disputable call for relief works against this much needed awakening of the individual to their personal power. Ironically, such calls are often made by those aiming to help the individual.
Of course this doesn’t mean that providing emotional relief is bad, this means that providing such relief is not the only option available. And – important – releasing your emotions doesn’t exclude working constructively on measurements that help to improve the needs of the group you represent. On the contrary, being relatively neutral about it
emotionally actually enables the constructive discussion needed to get there.

Especially the tunnel vision (article coming up) that creeps in works out detrimental to the public debate. Interest group promotors placing a singular call for more societal empathy towards their interest group often hijack public discussion with a singular strong, emotionally driven calls for immediate relief of the needs within their group. However, such relief may either be impossible to provide, or only possible at the cost of other groups within society, who happen to be out of scope of the mentioned interest group promotors, due to their developed tunnel vision. To get to a balanced solution good for everyone, constructive discussion is paramount, only the non-negotiable push for relief hampers this discussion. As a result, no shared basis can be developed to facilitate negotiations, polarization grows but not solutions.

This is a clear case where those working hard fighting for their groups end up obstructing workable solutions. 🔥🔥🔥

The main culprit: Insufficient awareness of how echoing around emotional charge combined with the silencing of dissonant voices creates tunnel vision. And how the nature of tunnel vision is self-confirming because it affects perception: The more your are in it, the more proof you SEE.

People are also so hyper focused on external relief because they just don’t know that the release of their own emotional charge can contribute amazingly to improvement of any situation at hand. After learning how to release, these tools are in your own hands, always available and no hassle with anyone else required. As minor trade off, you have some hassle with yourself to solve, but solving it will give you access to unlimited personal growth. What more do you want?

Those who got interested can experience some of it by taking the free intro course.


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