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Post Reply Empathy
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Posted 5/1/15 , edited 5/1/15
empathy
[em-puh-thee]

noun
1.
the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

Have you ever felt elation for someone's happiness? Sensed sadness even when a friend is hiding their pain? Felt in your heart that your crush likes someone else? Sometimes I feel like being able to tease the emotion out of various situations can be helpful but at times it can also be pretty devastating when you can tell that someone is lying to your face.

What do you think? Have you ever had these strange sensations? Do you believe this is an important trait that everyone should have or a weakness that nobody should bother to cultivate?
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Posted 5/1/15 , edited 5/1/15
Can't recall a time in my life where I've ever felt empathy for anyone or anything. Honestly I don't feel much in the first place, and show even less on the outside. To me emotions get in the way of my analytical nature. I view most emotions as unnecessary or a weakness. That's not to say they're bad, but for someone like me I want nothing to do with such things. I like the way things are now. I'm definitely not the kind of person to come to for comfort, more so just a realistic take on things.
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38 / M
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Posted 5/1/15
It depends on what a person thinks empathy means. If someone thinks empathy means being able to know or understand the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another, then it doesn't exist. If someone thinks it means feeling what another is feeling, then it doesn't exist.

A person is able to look at someone's body language and hear the intonations in their voice, and make (typically very general) assumptions about their feelings or thoughts. If that is empathy, then it exists and is critical. This version of empathy cannot be directly learned, it is innate. It is critical for development and understanding ones world, and it is entirely selfish. The assumptions made are based on ones experience and memory. You see someones face contorted in a certain way, and you assume they are sad, because you have know others that have sad and made a similar facial expression. It is something that is not only innate to humans, but to animals as well. It may lead to feeling in a way that you associate with your assumptions, but not always.

An extension of the above is where, after making assumptions, the person exercises social etiquette based on those assumptions. This also exists, and is a workable meaning of empathy. It is semi-important. This is the version of empathy that can be learned. Though, one should realize that they are executing social etiquette based on their assumptions, not knowledge, and that different cultures have different social etiquette. Also, social etiquette is just the typically acceptable manner in behaving, so there are always individuals within the same culture that may not have the same view of the socially acceptable manner of behaving.
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Posted 5/1/15
im empathetic to a fault.. and it normally leads me to being used by other people because i feel sorry for them.
dsjb 
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30 / M / UK
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Posted 5/1/15
I think its a wonderful thing and the world could use more empathy on the whole. I think if we all had a better understanding of the impact our actions would have on others than we would be better for knowing it.
xxJing 
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Posted 5/1/15
I am very empathic, but very unsympathetic. That means I understand your pain, but I don't care.

Being empathic is a huge boon, the more you can understand another person the better off you are. Knowledge is power.
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83 / F / Bite the pillow.
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Posted 5/1/15
Kindness is not empathetic.
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Posted 5/1/15 , edited 5/1/15
I try to be understanding of those who have to endure things that I don't have to. I hate apathetic people who can only see the world from their eyes instead of everyone elses. I remember reading an article trying to inform people why they shouldn't take the elevator if they don't have to, and the comment section had people with healthy functional legs and arms defending themselves. Like, do you even realize what you are saying?
Posted 5/1/15
Like a lot of people, I'm perceptive, but I don't allow others to manipulate me by falling for hard luck stories. Its unfortunate but thats life in the big city. It numbs you.
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26 / M / Socal
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Posted 5/1/15
yeah I really am, but I don't get duped because I'm not gullible enough. I trust you neutrally and the more I get to know you the more trust you'll get and the more empathy in return.
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21 / M
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Posted 5/1/15
It doesn't come out much. It's even worse in competitive settings where I secretly relish the losses of others and anguish over their gains.
Bavalt 
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28 / M / Canada
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Posted 5/1/15
I'm fairly empathetic, I would say, but I don't enjoy dealing with strong emotions, so the social atmosphere is important to me. If a situation or conversation looks to be heading in a direction that will result in negative emotions, I'll try my best to redirect it or, failing that, remove myself from it. I'm not a very emotional person myself by any means: I'm extremely easygoing and take most things in stride. As such, the majority of the emotion I do feel is through empathy. When I'm alone, I take advantage of this to really get the most out of fiction. I cry astoundingly easily at moving scenes in anime. When I'm around other people, though, I avoid any such situations, as I have no desire to be directly involved.
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27 / M
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Posted 5/1/15 , edited 5/1/15
I think it is important. After all, if everyone acted completely selfishly and never tried to see things from others' perspectives, there would be a whole lot more conflict. There is plenty now, but there would be much more if everyone was unable to understand other viewpoints.
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Posted 5/1/15
I've learned to pretend to be empathic for social reasons to compensate for my lack of empathy.
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