Good working definition of empathy

This definition comes from Dr Ramani, a psychologist and writer with a youTube channel dedicated to understanding narcissism and the harm it causes.

Empathy is about being present with a person, truly present with all of a person. And being able to respond to their emotions and attempt to understand them and their emotions… Empathy is a deep, reciprocal state.

Take away the reciprocal part and you don’t have empathy. You have a hierarchy where one person’s emotion is much more important than the other’s. Call that whatever you want, it’s not friendship. And there’s not even a whiff of empathy there.

If you’re trying to have a real conversation with somebody who lacks empathy, you might as well talk to a hungry grizzly bear.

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