Empathy May Do More Harm Than Good
Empathy is often seen as something positive, wherein it is used to relate to other people's situation or circumstance. Though it may seem to be smoothing that can help enlighten other people, one expert suggests that empathy actually does more harm than good.
Empathy leads to open-mindedness when it comes to understanding and accepting a certain person or situation. People nowadays find empathy as something normal, as it can even be tagged as an initial reaction. According to Paul Bloom, a psychologist and a professor at Yale, empathy can be highly destructive and it has the capability to do more harm than good.
During Bloom's interview with The Atlantic, he explained the downside of empathy, where he pointed out that it can turn any situation from bad to worse. He even pointed out that empathy seems to be overrated these days that most people neglect to look at the bigger picture of the situation.
Bloom wrote a book on empathy where he goes against it. He mentioned that empathy often blinds the individual of the overall consequences of the minor problem the person worries about. He set an example stating that "people are more worried about one baby stuck in a well over rather than global warming."
Sydney Morning Herald pointed out that people are more logical and more productive when it comes to coming up with the solution without empathy. He then added that lacking empathy does not necessarily mean one should avoid helping, but he ended his message stating that people who truly wanted to make the world a better place, they should "spend less time in maximizing their altruistic joy for them to effectively help other people.
"We're often better at comforting our children if we don't indulge in an empathic connection, if we don't suffer along with them," Bloom wrote. "Think about being the parent of a teenager who is panicked because she left her homework to the last minute. It's hardly good parenting to panic along with her."