Research: Empathy Takes Effort And People Try To Avoid It

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Empathy Requires Effort, So Keep Some Energy For It

Empathy is vital for human relationships to flourish, for leaders to lead well, for coaches and therapists to help, for parents and their young offspring to form a healthy attachment. And yet, the people in your life may be trying to avoid it. How often do you feel that your partner completely lacks empathy? Or that your adult children just don’t seem to care anymore? Or that the CEO is completely out of touch with what is happening at the grass roots level of your organisation? Well, new research using 11 studies with data from 1,204 participants in total suggests that, when given the choice, people avoid empathy as if it is not worth the effort, because they simply find it too effortful (Cameron et al., 2019). People in the study tended to avoid empathy than choose to do it and when they were manipulated into thinking they were…

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