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  1. #111
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    I'm guessing I take empathy lessons in the same place I take oral sex lessons.
    Instead of making cheap jibes, why not make a contribution yourself?

  2. #112
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Instead of making cheap jibes, why not make a contribution yourself?
    Well, I already stated that I agree with the OP. I'm not naturally empathetic, and many times, I'm still not, but I find that I can understand people and where they are coming from if I put in the effort. Does this necessarily mean I absorb their feelings like a sponge? Not necessarily, but so what?

    Personally speaking, I consider someone "feeling for me" to be almost worthless if it isn't backed up by actions. I'd rather they think about what I will need and have them do that, rather than ignore what I need, but feel really bad about me not feeling good. If empathy only involves only "feeling for" others, and it doesn't require actually understanding them or satisfying their needs, the utility in any variety of human relationship is minimal.

    Useful empathy can be learnt. Having relevant experience certainly helps. I would not say that it requires "formal exercises" though. Perhaps someone could devise "empathy exercises", but it's not the only way to go about it.

    I am not saying that I am empathetic all the time. I certainly am not. I am merely saying that I am more so now than I have been in the past.
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  3. #113
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Mirror neurons make sympathy natural, whereas empathy is unnatural and must be learnt like reading and writing.

    Narcissists are unable to face the fact that they may need to learn and practise before they master empathy.
    mirror neurons react to what the other person seems to be experiencing as if it was yourself who were having that experience. this is empathy, not sympathy..
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  4. #114
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urarienev View Post
    Hmmm. I guess I'm still not grasping the difference between empathy and sympathy...
    empathy is when your brains react to what other is experiencing as if it were you who is having that experience. sympathy is when you feel bad because someone feels bad without the same mirroring thing which is involved in empathy.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  5. #115
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Our problem is simple: when we say 'empathy', we mean 'sympathy'.

    The word 'empathy' has become fashionable and we now even have 'empaths', a confected word implying a psychic power.

    So the word 'empathy' has moved a long way from its original meaning.

    This is a shame for although sympathy is natural, empathy is a high level skill that is uniquely helpful.

    And thank heavens, we still have helping professions trained in empathy to help those in need.

  6. #116
    Unapologetic being Evolving Transparency's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Christianity is a revolutionary religion starting at year zero. Literally starting at year zero, for we count our year 2013 Anno Domini (AD - After the Lord) from year zero of the Christian Era.

    However all revolutionary impulses try to start from year zero. Of course the revolutionary Pol Pot of Cambodia took his country back to year zero in 1975.

    And the French revolutionaries of 1787 started Year 1 of the French Revolutionary Calendar.

    The Yankee revolutionaries were even more ambitious and tried to turn English itself back to year zero.

    English, you remember, is an historical language, in that spelling and meaning are dependent on the history of every English word, so Noah Webster, of Webster's American Dictionary, tried to erase history from English by changing the spelling of English words.

    Noah was only partially successful as the Yankees failed to impose their spelling on the rest of the English world, but he was successful in deracinating Americans by creating American English.

    And it is American English that has succeeded in erasing the history and meaning of the words, 'empathy' and 'sympathy'.

    Yes, the Americans have not only deracinated themselves, they have deracinated the meaning of the words 'empathy' and 'sympathy'.
    I undertstand why I don't understand the difference now lol

    Thanks, this makes much more sense...

    I will try to keep the "original" definition in mind more now
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  7. #117
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    Personally speaking, I consider someone "feeling for me" to be almost worthless if it isn't backed up by actions. I'd rather they think about what I will need and have them do that, rather than ignore what I need, but feel really bad about me not feeling good. If empathy only involves only "feeling for" others, and it doesn't require actually understanding them or satisfying their needs, the utility in any variety of human relationship is minimal.
    Very well stated, and accurate. I never understood the benefit derived simply by kowing someone else felt bad about your misfortune. That just makes two people feeling bad; hardly an improvement.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #118
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Very well stated, and accurate. I never understood the benefit derived simply by kowing someone else felt bad about your misfortune. That just makes two people feeling bad; hardly an improvement.
    I can be empathic. Theoretically, it would allow for someone to understand you on a deeper level, so that knowing how to help (or how not to help) would be second nature to the empath. But, the reality is that empathy is a double edged sword. It's not a magical power, it's a projection, and if wrong it can be as equally damaging.

  9. #119
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    There is a difference between wanting to learn something and wanting to do what it takes to learn the thing. If you want to learn to play the guitar but don't want to practice daily, the former is a fantasy. It's the same when you want to change yourself.
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  10. #120

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    Certainly, some aspects of empathy can be learned. I am currently struggling with understanding just how much can or cannot be.

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