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.

found notes (circa 2011)

If you badmouth friends, judge them, withhold the benefit of the doubt, keep silent, express grievances, make excuses for all your actions, accuse, blame, lie and stick to your lie, people will eventually begin to avoid you.

Being straightforward, constant and willing to listen is a much better way to resolve conflict.