What is empathy and why it is less

empathyThe sense of camaraderie is the most important factor in building a healthy political and social life. Neither national nor local civic life can’t be what they should be if they are not filled with a sense of camaraderie, mutual kindness, mutual respect and a sense of common cause and common interests that arise when people give themselves the trouble to understand each other and communicate with each other on General topics. Largely political anger or social discord or arise from sheer misunderstanding on one side/class, or because parties do not appreciate the passion and prejudices of each other, ignore each other’s feelings. Who do you think came up with this bright idea? Sorry, not me. Theodore Roosevelt.

I’m anxious to the past and believe that nostalgia is something good. I’m not one of those old farts who think that before the grass was greener and the grass is wet and the world is going to hell. Many aspects of the modern world much better than it was in the past, and I would not want to be born when there is a long time. Each period of time, like everything in this world has its pros and cons. Something is improved and something, I admit, is getting worse. What is deteriorating, needs to be corrected.

For example, Americans have been researching since 1979 — that is patience! Did they find out? That students began to feel less sympathy (or empathy) one to one by 40%. You know, dude, 40%!

Sympathy is not the kind of thing that we associate with masculinity. Usually we think that compassionate women. But even if men have less empathy than women, this feature is vital for those and for others. Empathy is necessary for a civilized society: it allows us to maintain a healthy long-term relationships that bring us pleasure. We as men generally difficult to begin to show compassion and we need to realize how important this is.

What is empathy?

Since 1873, when the German philosopher Robert Visscher introduced the word, the definition of empathy were discussed and supplemented with new interpretations. Generally associated with the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to understand other people’s feelings, experience them. A lot was discussed, empathy is a cognitive process: do we think that would be a different person and act the same — or empathy is an involuntary automatic response?

The results of recent research more incline us to another point of view. Especially interesting is the discovery of mirror neurons in the brain of man and some animals. When a person is told to feel a certain emotion and observing him, in your mind aktiviziruyutsya the same neurons as in the brain of the person experiencing the emotion. That’s why we frown when see a movie to someone hurting. Empathic reaction occurs automatically and immediately. The question is not whether to imagine the other person’s feelings, we just feel the same, looking at him.

It doesn’t mean to talk about someone else’s experience does not mean to experience more sympathy. However, as a rule, involuntary empathy (we can invite and activate it, it’s like breathing: you can breathe and you can hold your breath).

When you sympathize with the disaster victims and donate money to the recovery of the affected regions, likely, you feel for him sympathy and not empathy. Sympathy is not an automatic reaction; we imagine how other people are bad, and it forces us to act to alleviate their suffering. Empathy is when we feel together with the man, and sympathy is when we feel something towards him. All sympathize with the victims of the earthquake, but few of us have similar experiences and really understand what they had to endure.

Men and empathy

As mentioned above, we associate empathy with courage. Women here who feels empathy, although research partially destroy this myth.

Empathy than the male differs from the female? Men are naturally more violent and ready to confrontations than women, so they are more often and more effectively shut off their sense of empathy. They have, of course, is, but is more selective. Studies conducted in different cultures, confirm that women everywhere are considered more prone to empathy than men. It was concluded that women’s brains are better adapted to it. It is doubtful that this difference is absolute really exists, but even newborn girls look at faces longer than boys, who are more attracted to mechanical objects. When they grow up, girls are more focused on society, read more and better get used to someone else’s role. Girls often look to the wrong person care about someone else’s physical comfort, interested in the stranger condition. Boys rarely show interest to others ‘ feelings, more focused on actions and objects, their games are tougher and less likely to rely on fantasies of social reality. They prefer collective action, for example, to build something together.

The difference between men and women is evident even before socialization. Girls often cry when they hear the crying of another child, while boys are not. Two girls show more concern for those who are hurting, than two-year-old boys.

Perhaps the most interesting fact established by studies conducted by the above-mentioned «mirror neurons», is that women have a stronger motor reaction when looking at others than men. One experiment consisted of a game with a partner who actually was an assistant lab technician. In one group, men and women get pleasure from the game, and then suddenly their partner pretended he was hurt. The brain in both men and women activated centers responsible for pain when they saw the pain their partner. In the next group of partners cheated during the game and played fair. This time, when the subjects saw the pain of a partner, the brain of women still continued to activate the pain centers in the brain men intensified… the pleasure centers. The men were pleased when the cheater got what he deserved. It turned out that men are more important than justice. It’s not about the socialization, the same is shown of a study conducted on mice.

It is believed that the roots of these differences in the thousands of years in ancient times: women always had to empathize with the feelings and needs of their child. Men, on the other hand, are more aggressive and competitive and more inclined to see the other contenders. Thus, they are more apt to consider empathy as a weakness; as something that gets in the way to success.

Another interesting observation: autism and personality disorder, two mental illness prevalent in men and women with varying degrees of frequency, and both are associated with the inability to feel empathy.

Empathy is distributed among individuals according to the principle of a Gaussian curve. The notorious law of normal distribution. This means that there are many men who are much more prone to empathy than the average woman, a lot of women who much less empathize with others than the average man. When men and women age, these gaps are narrowed.

However, we can confidently say that women in General are more prone to empathy than men. But this does not mean that men should not worry about issues of empathy and how to develop it. Empathy does not have to be the main character but to eliminate it also should not be.

Body, technology and the disappearance of empathy

We more or less figured out, what is empathy, and now let’s go back to a 40% reduction in the number of empathy in society that has emerged over some 30 years. What is the reason?

This may be a lot of reasons. I offer one more.

Scientists say that a sharp decline of empathy in society has been observed since 2000. This is the year when the Internet began to grow rapidly, and to enter our daily life and to replace the interaction with people online communication, turning us into such incorporeal entities. What does this have to do with empathy? Huge!

Personal communication — very special. We catch the mood and reflect the body language of our interlocutor. Studies have shown that after some time the man and woman in the couple start to resemble each other, and people who after 25 years of marriage, similar to each other, are the most happy. A couple of decades spent side by side, physically transformerait people, adjusting them to each other.

Empathy arises on the basis of a powerful synchronicity inherent in our bodies. When others laugh, we also laugh. When they yawn, we also yawn. Smiling is contagious, and frown. Think about the difference: it’s one thing when you listen to a recording of your favorite band, and quite another when you come to her concert and see a huge number of people associated the same emotions and move about the same.

Empathy is a kind of communion of bodies; we almost literally get into someone else’s skin. We feel someone else’s body. Our thoughts cause our bodies to react and the body force the brain to think.

The body means nothing less than the brain. The brain is not a small computer that controls the body, and their relationships are bilateral in nature. The body produces internal sensations and interacts with other bodies, with which we construct social connections and perception of our surrounding reality. The body is involved in perception and thought. Consciousness connected with the body and it is affecting our relationship with people. We see the movements and emotions of other people, echoes of which are reflected in ourselves. This allows us to recreate in our body is what we see around us.

But empathy comes the anger and loneliness

People whose facial muscles are paralyzed, often fall into depression, feel alone and may even commit suicide. They can’t Express themselves fully, and, what is worse, people avoid them. Interaction without emotion is empty, the words of a man without emotion is not reflected in the other person, and it’s hard to empathize.

What do we do? We replace their faces paralyzed with mate label that does not show expressions of our faces that does not perform any gestures. Except in this world it is strange that many of us feel the emptiness and depression?

Before I came to the editorial office, I worked on another site remotely, but full-time. Isn’t it a dream? It was not necessary to go to work: you could sit at your computer in your underwear and scratching your belly. But I was so lonely. No social interaction. I like, of course, to stick to social networks, like all people, but I need and live chat. Without him sad. What else?

You have had so that all day you’re mad at someone, and then meet talk to him and all will be well? Physical presence means a lot. When you can not see the person, you take his words still a bit different and have the ability to come up with an all new twist. That’s why shaky long-distance relationship.

And our life is largely tied to the Internet is full of these long-distance relationships. I read every comment on this site and sometimes really do not understand where people in so much anger. Even if you just don’t agree with someone’s opinion on some account of why we need to Express it in its crudest form? No, I certainly understand how it works: we spend more time online and are becoming less patient and more cynical. The temptation of trolling haunts us every second. Here you can talk about the disappearance of empathy. We sit in front of their monitors, talking with some disembodied dude and suffer from a lack of compassion. Each that fucking lonely island which does not fit into someone else’s skin, feels only his own feelings and understand where they come from.

And finally

Every time I write a post, in a sense, criticized the technology, I feel a sort of grandfather who wants to ride and get food by hunting and gathering. This is not so. I comfort myself with the fact that it’s all the same website. And I’m typing blindly, and do not write with a quill pen. Yes, I think we should enjoy the benefits that technology gives us, but to seek a balance.

I actively tried to find ways to get out of this hole and start to communicate with people in person, eye to eye. I want to strengthen my empathy, to understand others, and I know that it is impossible to achieve this sitting behind a computer. And wish you the same.

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