Can you teach people to feel empathy on a regular basis?

  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Mar 30, 2011 8:03 AM GMT
    Teaching Empathy: One Woman's Solution to Bullying

  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Mar 30, 2011 8:17 AM GMT
    I think it depends on the person's biology.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Mar 30, 2011 4:05 PM GMT
    Empathy is a skill set or trait that is measured with Emotional Intelligence Assessments. According to the exhaustive research in this field, all emotional intelligence traits can be learned and developed. Granted for some, empathy is very natural. But the good news is that empathy and other traits making up emotional intelligence can be developed and improved over time.
  • rf_dal

    Posts: 380

    Mar 30, 2011 4:09 PM GMT
    Ironman4U saidEmpathy is a skill set or trait that is measured with Emotional Intelligence Assessments. According to the exhaustive research in this field, all emotional intelligence traits can be learned and developed. Granted for some, empathy is very natural. But the good news is that empathy and other traits making up emotional intelligence can be developed and improved over time.


    Wow, really? I never would have thought.. I guess people just don't have others teaching them these things that often. It seems perfectly logical to me to feel that way.
  • xKorix

    Posts: 607

    Mar 30, 2011 4:43 PM GMT
    I don't think empathy is a complicated thing at all. The only requirement is that we allow ourselves to feel, everything. Which isn't something encouraged in our culture. We have a pill or diagnosis for everything other than happy, and all this positive thinking, don't let stuff get you down stuff is taking away, not realizing is that we need to be connected and to feel the full spectrum of our emotions to feel empathy. We need to feel our anger, fear, despair, etc. to develop and feel empathy. I bet you anything there's a direct correlation, if feeling decreases in a culture, so does empathy. I've been doing a lot of emotional work the past year, learning to feel, identify, and get used to the sensation each feeling gives me. I feel a lot lighter, energetic, clearer, and I'm almost always calm, without distractions or vices.

    The best thing this work gave me is empathy, I genuinely care for people, the world. I also get so frustrated when people use certain justifications as an excuse to bully and belittle people. The most common and pervasive one is the puritan work ethic mentality. "Oh Americans are so obese cause they're all lazy fat-asses. American is so poor cause they're too lazy too get another job and turn off the TV. America has so much debt cause they're too undisciplined to put the credit card away, Grades are so bad because kids just don't care and wanna sit around and play video-games" Basically all the world's problems are caused by people being too lazy icon_rolleyes.gif It's fucking disgusting the way we treat each other and have so little faith that we're all hard working, good people. Empathy is the trait that has allowed me to question all these bullshit beliefs and actually restore my faith in people. I don't know how I know, I just know that everybody is trying, everybody is working hard, and that something IS wrong in the country, and I don't think it's because people are being "too lazy" icon_rolleyes.gif

    Another nifty trait it gave me, is that I can directly feel my boyfriend's feelings icon_smile.gif I can feel when he's sad, angry, happy, etc. directly, as if they were my feelings. I was actually able to feel his sadness directly about something very personal, as if it was my own. It's a cool ability.

    Basically I think empathy isn't something complicated that needs to be taught in workshops icon_rolleyes.gif yeah that's what we need more overly complicated dry bullshit lectures. Empathy is something humans should NATURALLY do, it's like breathing, it's not hard, it's not work, it just happens, if we're open to it and open fully to ourselves and all our feelings, than we can open ourselves to others, easily, without any sort of conscious decision.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 30, 2011 8:21 PM GMT
    Great thread...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 30, 2011 8:35 PM GMT
    metta8 saidTeaching Empathy: One Woman's Solution to Bullying




    Can you teach people to feel empathy on a regular basis?



    Empathy is something that cannot be cultivated and still be genuine.
    Attempting to teach empathy is like attempting to teach someone 'how' to appreciate the beauty of the sky or a sunset. One cannot teach that. You just let the sky or sunset capture you.
    Empathy cannot be brought about by Thought, but by love and intelligence.
    One can take measures to allow empathy to spring forth on its own, but empathy can never be grown or cultivated.
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    Mar 30, 2011 8:57 PM GMT
    please don't confuse empathy with sympathy. Empathy can be taught, I teach a class on Emotional Intelligence which includes empathy, because it does not require the "student" to have the same experiences or feeling as the person they are empathizing. Its just an understanding and respect that that person is experiencing a feeling due to an event or situation. Sympathy is when you can directly relate to the feeling because you have been there before. This cannot be taught, it has to be experienced.