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I Think Empathy Is Kind Of Selfish And Delusional - Religion - Nairaland

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I Think Empathy Is Kind Of Selfish And Delusional by justlove91(m): 3:20pm On Feb 08, 2017
I would appreciate it if you could read through this post before commenting with the assumption that you somehow already know what I intend to say.

Empathy is the ability to feel what another person is feeling and if this feeling is negative often leads to help for the original owner of the feeling with the aim of alleviating the person's emotional pain.

I must say this ability has been of help to our society and motivates us to respond to the emotional pain of others, and no doubt the society will be a better place if more people are empathic.

But as a person with the motto "Question everything" I found myself thinking of empathy and asking myself "Is this the best method to motivate us to help a person in need?" then I realized that this empathy though helpful is dysfunctional.

Let's assume a friend of mine is eating and said I should pass him a glass of water because of too much pepper in the food, will it be wise of me or is it necessary for me to firstly taste the food before I can help him?? Someone cut himself with a knife by mistake and asked me to help dress the wound, is it necessary to also cut myself first to know how it feels before I can help??

I know virtually everyone will agree with me that experiencing their physical pain is not necessary before I can help them and don't think they will praise anyone that does that. Then why is it necessary for me to feel the emotional pain of another before I can help? Why do I have to punish myself emotionally before I can help? Why don't I just take the fact that they're in emotional pain as is it and help if I can without necessarily partaking in their emotionally pain?

After seeing that taking up another person's emotional pain is not necessary why do I think it is even selfish ( Perhaps this is not the right word)

Let's assume someone is frustrated and needs my help, if am empathic, then I have to firstly internalize his pain before I can be motivated to help him. This only means am not actually responding to that person's pain but indirectly responding to my own pain. This is clearly seen in people that are not empathic, you can beg and cry and beg again but they wouldn't help because even though you're in pain they wouldn't help because they don't feel what you feel. This means that an empathic person don't help the person in pain really but only help the person in other to indirectly ease the pain he feels because of the person.

Of course must of them don't do this intentionally and must are not even conscious of it. And I must quickly add I don't have anything against them only pointing out that their is a better and selfless way to help.
Do you still doubt empathy is "selfish" ?? Then why is it that some people are incapable of helping anyone in emotional pain if they're unable to feel that pain themselves?
Yes... simply because their is no pain to indirectly heal in themselves by helping the person, so they unconsciously think if I cant gain by helping him, why help?

Why do I say empathy is delusional?

When I look deeply into this idea of taking up another person's feeling, it got me asking "Are we actually feeling another person's feeling or are we only feeling our own version of what we assume they're feeling?" Based on the information received, we then create what we assume they're feeling using our past experiences, conditioning, beliefs etc.

Let's assume I say my Dad is died, must people will console me by saying they know how I feel because [b]they've also lost someone dear to them (experience) [/b]while what I feel is that his death is a relief because he always tries to control my life.

Let's assume I approach you and say my daughter is very sick in the hospital that I need your help, you may feel "my pain" and try to help while what am actually feeling is happy because I have been able to convince another maga.

Do you still belief we actually feel what the other feel when we empathize? Have you ever said anything that happens to you to another person and they took it too far that you're now the one saying to the person "Take it easy, I don't take it this serious"
This shows that the person is not feeling how you feel but only feeling his version of how he thinks you feel.
That is, he is not dealing with reality (what is), it is all in his head.

I believe we shouldn't stop at empathy because we can actually help other without creating our own version of what we suppose they're feeling.

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Re: I Think Empathy Is Kind Of Selfish And Delusional by Seun(m): 3:45pm On Feb 08, 2017
Empathy gives us the motivation to help one another. So it's not bad thing. But it's not the only thing that motivates us to help. Sometimes it's mutual self interest. Sometimes it's a desire to get into the person's pants. Sometimes it's a desire to be praised, or just to feel good about ourselves. You're right in observing that empathy has limitations but that doesn't mean empathy is bad. It's just one out of many motivations.

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Re: I Think Empathy Is Kind Of Selfish And Delusional by Nobody: 4:22pm On Feb 08, 2017
Actually there is a part of our brain responsible for empathy. Psychopaths have this part missing or damaged. So empathy is part of human nature.
Re: I Think Empathy Is Kind Of Selfish And Delusional by sholay2011(m): 5:41pm On Feb 08, 2017
OP seems to not really understand empathy from his post up there.
Re: I Think Empathy Is Kind Of Selfish And Delusional by frank317: 5:52pm On Feb 08, 2017
Please educate urself more on what empathy really is... U Seriously misunderstood it.

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