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Difference Between Empathy,Compassion And Care

What Is Empathy? | Difference Between Empathy,Compassion And Care

  • Empathy is the ability to emotionally understand what other people feel, see things from their point of view, and imagine yourself in their place. Essentially, it is putting yourself in someone else’s position and feeling what they must be feeling.
  • While people are generally pretty well-attuned to their own feelings and emotions, getting into someone else’s head can be a bit more difficult. The ability to feel empathy allows people to “walk a mile in another’s shoes”.
  • An empathetic point of view is achieved by setting aside our own interests, current disposition, and relation to the agent and sympathizing with the effects of a person’s actions on those around him.

Need for Empathy

  • Indian civil services (ICS) attracted the most intelligent and talented among the British youth, yet they failed to look after the interest of Indians,  Why?
  • They were intelligent but lacked ’empathy.’ and at the same time, the British civil service manual / code of conduct lacked any directives in that regard.
  • For ICS officers, public services meant ensuring the administrative, economic and strategic interest of the empire.
  • Our bureaucrats have inherited this colonial legacy- hence we must make them emphasize with the plight of a common man.
  • Long cut: you teach poverty theory and allied topics to an officer and then expect him to help the poor.
  • Short cut: you make him empathize with a poor. He’ll automatically try to help the poor,  because empathy will trigger his altruistic behavior.
  • Empathy helps us understand others’ emotion, therefore empathy required to increase your emotional intelligence.

What Is Compassion? | Difference Between Empathy,Compassion And Care

  • It’s a form of sympathy. But stronger than empathy.
  • Strength wise: sympathy << empathy << compassion.
  • Hence compassion is even better predictor of behavior.
  • Compassion is what made Mother Teresa leave her motherland and serve selflessly in in Kolkata.
  • Empathy means understanding other person’s pain / feeling. It can be for everyone higher or lower than you. But compassion is targeted towards weaker beings.
  • g. you’ve faced criticism from colleagues despite working with earnest intention. Then you’d have empathy (not compassion) for Rajanbhai, when his moves are criticized by columnists.

Importance Of Compassion As A Human Value

  • Action based empathy: Compassion offers the possibility of responding to suffering with understanding, patience, and kindness rather than, say, fear and repulsion. It is a readiness to help or to want to do something ourselves about another person’s situation. Example: Mother Theresa has often been referred to as an embodiment of compassion. Her selfless work for the poor and destitute till date is inspiring and spoken of.
  • Promotes fraternity and harmony among all: A needy would always be happy to get help. It would not only help him face the situation but will generate a blissful feeling of being noticed and cared by others.
  • Holistic mental health: Compassion allows oneself to have a feeling of self-satisfaction and self-contentment of helping others whether an animal, human or even a plant. Such a feeling will help reduce stress, improve mental and physical health. Thus a person would naturally feel happy and will contribute to the society efficiently with a healthy mind-set.
  • Self-actualization and societal growth: When such a society evolves having compassion for others and helps others in need, each individual is taken care of by the society and in turn he also helps the society.
  • Strong social capital: Strongly integrated social capital grows with a co-operative and co-existing ecosystem, resulting in reduced toxic or criminal outbreaks and instances.

Ethics Of Care | Difference Between Empathy,Compassion And Care

  • Ethics of care is a feminist approach to ethics. It challenges traditional moral theories as male centric and problematic to the extent they omit or downplay values and virtues usually culturally associated with women or with roles that are often cast as ‘feminine’.
  • The best example of this may be seen in how ethics of care differs from two dominant normative moral theories of the 18th and 19th century. The first is deontology, best associated with Immanuel Kant. And the second utilitarianism, attributed to Jeremy Bentham and improved upon by John Stuart Mill.
  • They each require the moral agent to be unemotional. Moral decision making is thus expected to be rational and logical, with a focus on universal, objective rules. In contrast, ethics of care defends some emotions, such as care or compassion, as moral.
  • On this view, there is not a dichotomy between reason and the emotions – as some emotions may be reasonable and morally appropriate in guiding good decisions or actions. Feminist ethics also recognises that rules must be applied in a context, and real life moral decision making is influenced by the relationships we have with those around us.
  • Instead of asking the moral decision maker to be unbiased, the caring moral agent will consider that one’s duty may be greater to those they have particular bonds with, or to others who are powerless rather than powerful.

Empathy vs. Sympathy | Difference Between Empathy,Compassion And Care

  • It’s not easy to differentiate sympathy and empathy.
  • The main difference between sympathy and empathy is understanding a feeling versus actually experiencing another’s feelings. For example, if someone’s father has passed away, you may not be able to viscerally feel that person’s pain.
  • However, you can employ your cognitive skills and emotional intelligence to understand that your friend is sad. It makes sense, then, to send a sympathy card.
  • You are not feeling that person’s pain, but you want them to know you are aware of their suffering. Typically, people can sympathize much easier than they can empathize.

Empathy vs Compassion

  • An important distinction between feeling empathy and compassion is how they can affect your overall well-being. If you are frequently feeling the pain of another, you may experience a great deal of burnout. This is a common problem for caregivers and health care providers, and it’s been labeled “empathy fatigue.”
  • Compassion, however, is a renewable resource. When you have the ability to feel empathy for the other person but then extend a hand to alleviate someone’s pain, you are less likely to burn out.
  • Research indicates that compassion and empathy employ different regions of the brain and that compassion can combat empathetic distress.
  • Don’t take it from me, though. The Dalai Lama famously said in the book The Art of Happiness, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”




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