Empathic individuals will sometimes will be defined as emotional, same with people suffering a depression. Now these are already two totally different things. Because depressed people aren’t necessarily empaths and vice versa. You can only care about your own feelings which doesn’t make you an empathetic, nor an apathetic human being. And than there’s also HSP. Complicated, we know! Let’s have a closer look.
Empathy vs apathy
When talking about emotions there are two very important terms to define: empathy vs apathy. This info will probably be familiar to you but it’s always interesting to point it out again.
Empathy means having the ability to place oneself in another person’s shoes. If every single human being on this planet would have the right amount of empathy, there would definitely be less problems. Unfortunately some are blessed with a giant dose and others even remotely don’t understand the word. We often read comments underneath articles of important online newspapers. And 9 chances out of 10 we just have to stop because of people’s rude and misguided reactions. Definitely when it comes to discussions about race, refugees and religion.
And than we have apathy, the total opposite. If anyone ever calls you apathetic, you should seriously be worried. This is one of the most negative features a person can posses. It’s the lack of interest, concern, excitement, passion and so on. Serial killers for example rarely can place themselves in their victims position. In some cases apathy can also be part of a congenital condition like the Asperger syndrome or autism. But let’s not go the scientific way.
As we already said in the intro, there are loads of grades in between. But in general it’s better to have the tendency of being more of an empath. Not in a naive but a healthy way. Just placing yourself in another’s position, even if it’s only for 5 seconds, won’t cause you any harm. When you’re sitting behind your TV screen watching refugees flee their countries to save their lives, don’t think the bastards are coming to steel our jobs and wealth. Always keep that one sentence in mind “what would I do in their situation?”. When it comes to (pointless) crimes, it’s of course another story. When a person did something seriously wrong, there’s not much to empathy about. But in general we could all show our soft side a little more often.
If you’re interested in knowing your EQ, we recommend to do the test via this link.