The Loss of Empathy in Society Today – 40% less than previous decades

There is a growing concern for the apparent decline of empathy in society today.  A study by the University of Michigan found that college students today are showing less empathy than previous decades, a 40% decline in fact.  That is an alarming number.

Empathy is not the same as sympathy.  Empathy is understanding how another person feels or putting yourself in their shoes.  Sympathy is the acknowledgement of another’s hardship and providing them comfort and assurance.

There are 2 components to empathy; cognitive and emotional. 

Cognitive is the recognition or understanding part that drives us to identify another person’s thoughts and feelings, emotional is the reaction to someone’s thoughts and feelings that drive us to respond appropriately.  Both components must be present in order for one to be capable of empathy. A psychopath may be capable of recognizing that someone is in pain, but lack the appropriate response to stopping one’s pain. It is thought that the point when one starts to treat someone as an object  is when they can become capable of cruelty.  We can explain human cruelty with the erosion of empathy.

There are many possible causes of human cruelty, such as Borderline Personality Disorders, genetics, hormones, and/or cultural roots, but social networking may be one of the main causes today.  People are not interacting face to face much anymore.  They Facebook, text, chat online, but in order to be empathetic, one must learn to read others’ faces, particularly the eyes.  People are not born with this ability, they develop it.

However, getting rid of technology is not the answer, but society must find a balance. Empathy is very valuable, maybe the most valuable resource for humanity. Empathy has the power to resolve conflict. It fact, it may be one of the most successful strategies and it costs nothing. 

By: Christie Smith – Fort Worth Campus

Why the World Needs an Empathy Revolution

Solution = training in small homegroups – the Body of Jesus Christ

To build up small homegroups/cellgroups in the neighbourhood is a good solution and to build up the Body of Christ/his Church. In the small group individuals can start to see each other and interact with each other on a daily basis. This is the plan from Our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ body.

A: Affect (or emotions). Learning to identify what another is feeling and naming it can help us better understand their behavior or the message behind their words.

T: Tone. “Because tone of voice conveys over 38 percent of the nonverbal emotional content of what a person communicates, it is a vital key to empathy,” writes Riess. She suggests matching the volume and tone of the person you are talking to and, generally, using a soothing tone to make someone feel heard. However, when a person is communicating outrage, moderating your tone—rather than matching theirs—is more appropriate.

H: Hearing. Too often, we don’t truly listen to one another, possibly because of preconceptions or simply being too distracted and stressed. Empathic listening means asking questions that help people express what’s really going on and listening without judgment.

Y: Your response. Riess is not talking about what you’ll say next, but how you resonate with the person you are talking to. Whether or not we’re aware of it, we tend to synch up emotionally with people, and how well we do it plays a role in how much we understand and like them.

(Link: Why the World Needs an Empathy Revolution )

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