A Note on Empathy and Compassion
Emotional intelligence and co-feeling
There are two distinct aspects of empathy:
- noticing and understanding feelings (your own and in others)
- feeling what the other person feels, co-feeling
I believe understanding feelings is almost always useful while co-feeling is not necessary for compassion and “can sometimes lead to stupid or unethical decisions“.
“Compassion is the response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help.”
The following video does not differentiate understanding and co-feeling but shows a good and a bad way to help someone in a bad situation: