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Why is everyone an empath?

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Dark111

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#1
Why is everyone an empath?

Over the past while now, this is something that keeps coming up in all my social media feeds. And it's usually someone re-posting some quote or meme about being an empath & virtue-signalling "This is sooo Me!".

And the quotes will include statements like "empaths hate loud noises". I got news for you, everyone hates loud noises.
You'll also see "gets overwhelmed in crowds". Yeah well so will many on the autistic spectrum or anyone with frequent hangovers. Then you'll get theses bizarre ones like "Frequently attract narcissists". I got news for you, your poor relationship choices are hardly a good advertisement for empathy. Or "Can act extroverted or introverted depending on who they are around". More news for you, con-men and psychopaths do that on the daily to give their victims the illusion of trust. And finally, "Struggle with feeling like they need to heal everyone even if the person isn't ready". So you're a control freak to boot.

But because the word "empath" is in there people jump on it as some moral high ground they can assign themselves to replace explain their craziness. They don't even think about what they're actually saying.
 

Walker

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#2
I think a lot of words are over used and you're citing some of them right here AND the reasons for it. Empath, autism/ASD, psychopath. These are things people use more often than are necessary akin to "personality disorder", "ADD/ADHD" or "antisocial".

Look at a astrological sign online: pick any one of them and you'll see that it's like shooting fish in a barrel. Those statements ring true about so many people that you're bound to get a hit on some of them that says "oh yeah, that is SO ME" when really it's a random bunch of statements chucked together that make sense for a lot of people. People want to associate with others whether that is "empath" or some other thing.
 

Auri

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#4
Yeah, what Walker said. *thumbsup
I have a pretty strong opinion about that whole empath/narcissist culture, or any such labels... It all has a purpose, but I won't get into that here. ^^

I'll just add that empathy is in general a trait that everyone has, but in varying degrees, and everyone can choose or learn to use it or not in certain situations. Nowadays it is promoted as a very good trait to explore in your "self-development". So there's nothing special in experiencing empathy (or sympathy). Nothing special in being extroverted or introverted in different settings. Nothing special in anything written in horoscopes, personality tests and what not.
 

Lara_C

Staff Alumni
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#5
But because the word "empath" is in there people jump on it as some moral high ground they can assign themselves to replace explain their craziness.
I think we can find the emotions of others reproducing themselves in us, but we can also project our own emotions/"craziness" on to others. The difference isn't always clear, but the ability to feel the feelings of others as our own is the basis of compassion, or the desire to help where able. As social animals empathy and concern for one's fellow beings is a natural quality most of us share to a greater or lesser extent and it could be said that the most noble/moral among us are the most compassionate. That usually goes with quiet humility though, not 'virtue signalling' which is egocentric.
 
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Lekatt

Love Cats Love All
SF Supporter
#6
My two cents. I think the work "empath" is used to indicate psychic abilities. An empath can read your mind and emotions. While empathy just means you care and want to help, no special abilities.
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#7
I think a lot of words are over used and you're citing some of them right here AND the reasons for it. Empath, autism/ASD, psychopath. These are things people use more often than are necessary akin to "personality disorder", "ADD/ADHD" or "antisocial".

Look at a astrological sign online: pick any one of them and you'll see that it's like shooting fish in a barrel. Those statements ring true about so many people that you're bound to get a hit on some of them that says "oh yeah, that is SO ME" when really it's a random bunch of statements chucked together that make sense for a lot of people. People want to associate with others whether that is "empath" or some other thing.
My point was people saying they're empathic doesn't mean they're empathic.
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#8
I think a lot of words are over used and you're citing some of them right here AND the reasons for it. Empath, autism/ASD, psychopath. These are things people use more often than are necessary akin to "personality disorder", "ADD/ADHD" or "antisocial".

Look at a astrological sign online: pick any one of them and you'll see that it's like shooting fish in a barrel. Those statements ring true about so many people that you're bound to get a hit on some of them that says "oh yeah, that is SO ME" when really it's a random bunch of statements chucked together that make sense for a lot of people. People want to associate with others whether that is "empath" or some other thing.
And what are the limits of empathy? If a person is afflicted with something you've never been afflicted with yourself, do you feel empathy? You know what suffering feels like so of course you do. But what if it's a mortal enemy threatening your family suffering the same affliction? Do you wish him/her to perish? We don't even need to take it that far. Just look at propaganda. Any people can be convinced that some other person or group is to be reviled and beyond redemption. They're not even human and can/should be destroyed. If empathy can be circumvented so easily, it makes me suspect of any of it.
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
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#9
And what are the limits of empathy? If a person is afflicted with something you've never been afflicted with yourself, do you feel empathy? You know what suffering feels like so of course you do. But what if it's a mortal enemy threatening your family suffering the same affliction? Do you wish him/her to perish? We don't even need to take it that far. Just look at propaganda. Any people can be convinced that some other person or group is to be reviled and beyond redemption. They're not even human and can/should be destroyed. If empathy can be circumvented so easily, it makes me suspect of any of it.
I guess that makes my empathy completely true then, since there isn't a group or person out there i consider completely beyond redemption. I think people are capable or being or doing things that can take a lot to make amends for, but literally anyone has the capacity to do better, and should be given the chance to do so. I'm always a firm believer in reformation over punitive measures.
This is why i wouldn't even wish death on mortal enemies, especially so with slow painful deaths.
You can't just circumvent my empathy like that. *dunno2
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#10
I guess that makes my empathy completely true then, since there isn't a group or person out there i consider completely beyond redemption. I think people are capable or being or doing things that can take a lot to make amends for, but literally anyone has the capacity to do better, and should be given the chance to do so. I'm always a firm believer in reformation over punitive measures.
This is why i wouldn't even wish death on mortal enemies, especially so with slow painful deaths.
You can't just circumvent my empathy like that. *dunno2
You're very sure of yourself. If you had of been born in 1930s Germany, do you think your empathy would not then have been circumvented? Methinks in the post-modern world we live in, we're all a bit too smug.
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#11
You're very sure of yourself. If you had of been born in 1930s Germany, do you think your empathy would not then have been circumvented? Methinks in the post-modern world we live in, we're all a bit too smug.
You say that like i don't live in a world of social norms telling me that there are people who are to be reviled and treated like monsters. Neo-nazis, member of the Westboro Baptist Church, terrorists...Hell, you mention 1930s Germany, which brings to mind the way people discuss their desire to kill or torture Hitler. Plenty of other types i'm not going to get into out of respect for the feelings of other members. Methinks that you're overlooking that.
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#12
You say that like i don't live in a world of social norms telling me that there are people who are to be reviled and treated like monsters. Neo-nazis, member of the Westboro Baptist Church, terrorists...Hell, you mention 1930s Germany, which brings to mind the way people discuss their desire to kill or torture Hitler. Plenty of other types i'm not going to get into out of respect for the feelings of other members. Methinks that you're overlooking that.
I don't think I'm overlooking anything. You just stated the people you revile.
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#16
No, i just think that what they are now tends to be pretty harmful and i like to believe that they can be talked down from it if someone can find the way to break through. I don't have to revile someone to want to see them improve. Maybe you do, but that's not how i function. *dunno2
I guess you're a true gentleman. One of a kind, in fact. if only the rest of humanity could act accordingly.
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
Staff Alumni
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#17
I guess you're a true gentleman. One of a kind, in fact. if only the rest of humanity could act accordingly.
I'd like to think that people who have fought their way out of places of extreme intolerance are capable of seeing the world this way. I think that may be the experience a lot of people are missing there.
Truly understanding the ways most of these reviled groups propagate themselves can really aid in being empathetic to even some of the most challenging groups or people.
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#18
I'd like to think that people who have fought their way out of places of extreme intolerance are capable of seeing the world this way. I think that may be the experience a lot of people are missing there.
Truly understanding the ways most of these reviled groups propagate themselves can really aid in being empathetic to even some of the most challenging groups or people.
We'd like think many things, but often reality just doesn't match up.
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#20
Sigh Yeah, that's pretty true unfortunately.


Not sure if this was sarcastic or not, btw, but either way, i wouldn't say that, not by a long shot.
I'd just say i'm a decent therapist.
What I'm saying is people have a much more noble view of themselves than they may deserve. If you're living in a peaceful, affluent, Western democracy, has your character ever been truly tested? What war zones or famines or labor camps have you ever had to endure, where you've had to do the unthinkable just to survive? People watch the movie Schindler's list and always identify with either the victim or the hero, never the villain. But in reality, it's more likely you've have ended up as an Auschwitz camp guard than a freedom fighter standing in the streets of Berlin demanding justice for the oppressed.
 
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