Empathy? I wrote an article about having too much of it : The “Too Much Empathy” Syndrome
The ability to feel (or guess) what another person is feeling, believing…
We thinkers like to examine it, but I realize there aren’t so many books about it.
My first idea is it’s because it’s a big-deep quality. It’s like being dexterous or green fingered, and being clumsy. You can’t, really, change that.
- One can not develop their empathy.
- One certainly can not make someone develop their empathy.
My second idea is that though we all have, built in our deeprofound mind, a prehistorical dose of empathy – some people only, then (education? culture?) can develop the flowers of empathy from it, some others don’t. It’s dry. That’s it.
Another word? Attention. If you have empathy, you watch people around you, your kids, your love – you have a like perpetual computing algorithm which “guesses and reports” what probably happens in others’s heads. You read them continuously.
Another word? The decentering process. To have empathy you have to decenter. The next word is selfishness, then.
Another word? Relational Intelligence. A dance between a dry empathy which we need to understand the others’ intentions and feelings, and a warm empathy which is deeper and linked to love.
Maybe one can develop the first one? A rational empathy, is it possible?
Then it leads to empathy as a tool, in management, teaching, or therapy. It becomes, then, a… lever (or a leverage, which one’s the best?).
How to we detect a lack of empathy? How does empathy rejoin the love of stories? And what about “types of conversations”? Where and how does a lack of empathy become an… asset? What about justice, or police? What about mother/baby? And father/baby? What is vicariance, and how is it used in pedagogy? What is the “pleasure to help”?
A teacher who has empathy knows how to interest his class, then he has their attention, then they learn…
Thanks for reading!
Ohh I found a book on my shelves, “A History of Empathy”. I’m on it, OK?