Empathy: Super Power or Crippling Weakness

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Empathy is rather twisted topic and according to Politically Correct Society it’s always something one must possesses and expresses whenever possible. Root of these kind of conception is mere another example of polarized belief like “all empathy is GOOD and lack of empathy is EVIL” .But in reality things are more “grey” rather “black & white” and often too complex to generalize in a specific way.

What is Empathy :

Empathy in  a simple word is a ability  to feel another person’s condition from their perspective. It is entirely different from Sympathy which is rather acknowledgement of another person’s emotional hardships and providing comfort and assurance. For example if a person beside you lost one of his loved ones , sympathetic people may try to console him but  if a person tries to feel things from that poor fellow’s perspective, he will experience same kind emotional cocktail of grief, pain,restlessness etc inside him. That is empathy .

Empathy : Super Emotional power

We, are emotional creature. Though we think that we make most of our decision based on pure logic but often subtly emotions create way more impact on our decision making than logic .

Being Empathetic means one can easily put him/her on another’s shoe. Thus those people can really read between the lines, they can estimate how person next to them are feeling. We, human tend to bond well with individuals who are experiencing similar kind emotions as it creates a bubble of “we” in our mind, so that’s the reason why higher empathetic people can bond with others much more deeply and if done correctly they can influence others much more effectively then “brute pushy ”people.

From my personal experience ( I am also pretty high on empathy according to tests) even one proper, genuine response can make someone’s day bright and it’s best possible feeling for both sides.

Most of the world leaders who is highly appreciated and loved by common people are tend to high on empathy scale . Bill Clinton, Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, George Washington, Nelson Mandela etc are highly empathetic people who often share deep bond with both of their causes and followers.

Crippling Weakness:    

Inspite of those goliath amount of advantages ,Empathy also makes you vulnerable same time. Empathetic people tend to siphon emotion from others to themselves and when lot of negative and pessimistic emotions are around its easy for them to  soak those emotions also, in a large degree. Constant flow of negative emotion can outmatch remaining positive emotions in those individuals resulting  more unhappy people on the earth.

Empathetic people without proper emotion defense are often “easy-target” for emotional manipulators. Manipulators often themselves are very low on empathy scale but very good  to spot potential target’s chink in armor. Since many empathetic people tend to be emotional “open book” they get the hardest hit.

Another thing I have witnessed , some of empathetic people tend  to be  more on  “giver” side of spectrum .They expect other people (read “takers”) will help them or give them what the desire, while “taker” people believe other person will take what they needed from them and this is totally fair. These two world view clashes and we found a group of angry “givers” and another group of confused “takers”.

Perfect Balance of Empathy : A real life Example :  

It’s always good to learn from practical experience then nerdy ,boring theory. So, a perfect example of a individual with sky level of empathy and very strong personality is  former American President Bill Clinton. It was said  he can make other person to feel like they are only person standing in front of President. Even one can google on his Charisma and specially eye-contact , there are plenty of interesting things out there. Several member of his opposition party told later that he was the most charismatic and warm person they had ever seen.People loved him and girls were crazy for him too. Main reason behind this charisma , according to former president himself is his genuine interest about others, which is indeed very refreshing. And  this “genuine” interest is not possible if one is lacking on empathy .People can easily find out if you interest fake or real ,so Empathy is really a super power .

Conclusion:

We can look into these thing this way, being empathetic is a gift but if someone is not careful enough to ready to deal with it’s cons then life could be very hard for them. Manipulators and negative people are plenty out their so it’s better to keep the guard on so that  one person can brighten some others life.

Carpe Diem,

 

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