Parasitic Empathy…

I officially only have to get up early twice in a week… It is a bit better than a lot who have to be up early everyday so I know to some people it would be a blessing.

But to be honest if it doesn’t involve;

  • Sleep,
  • Food,
  • Throwing myself around like an idiot,
  • Writing;

Then I am unlikely to be terribly interested… Well I guess it does involve throwing myself around… OK then I just don’t like having little to no sleep especially when I am recovering. (See my entry two days ago if you have no idea what I am on about, here!)

But anyway, if I told someone about it they would act empathetic and say something like; “Awww I know” and just move on.

(My route to the bus stop is pretty! Makes early mornings slightly easier to deal with!) 

Conversations like this bewilder me, if you aren’t actually feeling anything don’t say anything. I would probably accept open laughter more than this vapid charade of sympathy. Especially if you actually did feel that way about it, just not what I am going to term ‘Faux Empathy’.

Now empathy is one of those things which is easier to understand if you accept that evolution and more notably personal evolution are things. 

OK I should possibly clear up a definition before I go much further, what I am referring to is ’empathy’ which is your ability to feel someone else’s emotions.

We teach people empathy from an early age as it better allows us to communicate, and appeal to the more sensitive sides of people. 

But again this is not empathy it is invoking appropriated sadness, or sympathy… Which is not the same thing.

But empathy can be for a good emotion, as well as a bad one. It is your own ability to comprehend how and why other people are feeling their emotions.

But at least where I am from (And to be honest many other places) it just sounds like something they have read about. Something from a book which they have ‘understood’ but not taken on board. 

As empathy takes actual brain power, thought, rather than just telling someone you feel bad for them, you need to actually put yourself in their shoes and imagine their pain, their happiness, their sadness, their love… 

I understand that it is hard when you have no frame of reference. For years I struggled with writing fight scenes, simply because I don’t fight.

I can imagine how fighting feels, but even for that I have a limited form of reference. 

As during a very brief drunken period between college and university, I decided to have a round of boxing with one of my friends who was in the army… Yeah I broke my God damn leg… But suffice to say even with that small amount of experience I can extrapolate what fighting would be like. 

(As I own this I’m fairly certain you can tell fighting is not my forte…) 

Also aside from anything else, the entirety of society works off the principle that everyone is an extravert and seeks to gain material wealth (Again, read Quiet by Susan Cain, it is amazing on the subject) but what about everyone who is not? 

Empathy is a reflex (Much like swatting away flies or pooping) as much as it is a thought process. We use sympathy to understand someone else’s pain and ensure we do not go through it ourselves, and we use empathy to better understand the people and the world around us. 

So no, I don’t actually think many people are empathetic. I think we have all learned that empathy is a good trait to show without any information or knowledge about how it actually happens. 

I do however think many people are sympathetic. But sympathetic requires much less thought as you can physically see someone else’s pain and hardships. Plus the human brain has a negativity bias.

Empathy requires much more thought and so is much less common.

But that’s what happens when you get billions of people to show the same trait. You will get copycats because they don’t have a clue as to what the hell you are going on about… And also a lot of people who get words mixed up because they sound similar! 

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8 thoughts on “Parasitic Empathy…

      1. Only people with sociopathic personalities, or those with anti social personality or well yes, everyone does? How much is nature though? Riddle me that?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I would say everybody but I don’t think that is technically true, the human brain is terribly complex and is consistently evolving. What we perceive now will not be how it is always perceived… So the semantics do not matter. Does that make sense?

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  1. Of course it does however our understanding of human mental defaults has been rather static over the past 60 years, generalised opinion can speak volumes – so what’s yours?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I covered it fairly well, I think some credence should be given to those who think they are different. We are so stuck in the same ways of thinking we have forgotten that each generation is born to surpass the last. But in a large sense it doesn’t work like this, we are too obsessed with seeing everyone as a unified unit with the same hopes and dreams that we don’t warrant any attention to the fact that we are all at different stages. The human psyche evolves with us as a species, those born now do not think or act in the same way as I did. Does this make sense? Or am I being mad

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