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What Is An Empathy Gap, Or Living Without Worrying - Self-development
What Is An Empathy Gap, Or Living Without Worrying - Self-development

Video: What Is An Empathy Gap, Or Living Without Worrying - Self-development

Video: What Is An Empathy Gap, Or Living Without Worrying - Self-development
Video: 10 Signs Someone Lacks Empathy 2023, June

One of the most popular and painful cognitive biases is the empathy gap. This is a cognitive state in which a person is unable to assess the influence of deep impulses (visceral factors) on their behavior and desires. The cognitive trap is that the ability to understand and evaluate is strongly tied to the here and now state

For example, a person who is in an acute stage of aggression is sure that this is the only way of communication. And the one suffering from any kind of addiction in a moment of sobriety truly believes that this was the very last time.

Gaping empathy towards others

There is a belief that a person is capable of empathy and empathy (empathy) only in the case of his own similar experience. If you've been through a loss in the past, it's easier for you to understand a close friend who is living this situation now, isn't it? The trick is that in reality this is not so, no matter how our intuition shouts about the opposite.

A group of researchers from the United States conducted a number of interesting studies and experiments that proved that it is very difficult for us to understand the feelings of others if we ourselves have experienced similar experiences.

“In one experiment, participants were asked to answer the question: Would you better understand the feelings of a victim of bullying if you yourself were in the same situation? An example was the story of a certain boy going through harassment and bullying at school. The survey participants were offered 2 versions of the solution to this situation. In one of which the boy coped with the bullying, and in the second he could not. The result of the study is that the subjects who had experience of bullying sympathized with the boy who was able to cope and did not show participation in the second variant, where the fictional hero could not cope with the persecution.

The fact is that over time we remember the experience itself. Frame by frame we can imagine the fact - what happened to us. But the feelings that we experienced at that moment are erased and transformed

This directly affects the ability to empathize in the moment. If we were able to go through that experience, now we see and feel it as a kind of life obstacle that can be overcome. Accordingly, others are capable of it too.

The gap in empathy towards oneself

Conventionally, empathic gaps can be divided into 2 vectors. Let's imagine that there are 2 sensory states: cold and hot. A hot state is the self-determination and sensation of the body under the influence of visceral factors. Visceral factors include many arguments: sexual arousal, hunger and thirst, craving for alcohol (another substance on which there is an addiction), physical pain, emotional upheaval, fear. If we consider the ruptures in the direction from a hot state to a cold one, we get the following: a person who is in the grip of a strong feeling is not able to objectively assess his state "here and now." A person sincerely believes that such an experience is his life aspirations. At the same time, desires, as a rule, are highly overestimated.

In the case of a direction from a cold state to a hot one, the person underestimates his future feelings and aspirations. In such a situation, it becomes difficult to predict behavior in a different state. For example, a smoker who has just thrown away a cigarette feels that he is not addicted at all.

Common empathic gaps

1. Racial insensitivity

One of the most insidious ways to break empathy. It is scientifically proven that we prefer to consider members of other races less sensitive, for example, to pain. A common example is stories with blacks. Attribution of violent tendencies due to increased testosterone levels, exaggeration of stamina and strength are typical examples of the empathic gap within the framework of racial insensitivity.

2. Bullying

"… This is a deliberate, systematically repeated aggressive behavior involving inequalities in social power or physical strength."

The survivors and survivors of bullying will underestimate the social pain of those experiencing bullying in the here and now.

3. Dependencies

Usually, the deep (visceral) factors include those factors that are directly related to the instinct of self-preservation, for example, hunger and thirst. But addictions developed over the years also become vital factors. This includes, for example, nicotine addiction. In the course of many experiments, it was clearly shown that smokers, being in a calm (cold) state, were not ready to assess their possible state after many hours of quitting smoking.

4. Sex drive

Theoretically, each of us is well aware of the need for protection. In a cold state, no one can confidently say that in a state of excitement, they will take possible risks, neglecting protective equipment.

5. An empathy gap in the female community

A woman whose children are already out of childhood does not sympathize with the one who has to express milk at work and combine career and breastfeeding.

Tightening the breaks. How to correct?

Cognitive biases occur when we need help to cope with external problems. Distortions help us to relive an overabundance of information, difficulty understanding, the need to make quick decisions and situations with selective memories. Along with this, cognitive distortions lead to problems-consequences:

  • We don't see the full picture.
  • We invent and think out.
  • We are fundamentally wrong when we make lightning-fast decisions.
  • Selective memory impairs thought processes.

In the case of a break in empathy, as with other cognitive distortions, the very fact of their identification is already a step towards getting rid of them. Do not be afraid to ask others for advice - even if an extraneous point of view differs from yours, you can switch and think "the other way."

In the event of a breakup in relation to another, there is no need to remember how you felt in the same situation. Now the story is not about you. Just try to understand how the person next to you is feeling now. And in relation to yourself, you can learn to be careful in conclusions - especially when we know (let us not accept) that our emotional state can change.

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