Empathy, to have or not to have…

I’ve decided to look into empathy here because it seems like a more reasonable explanation to why people commit crimes.  But first- a little learning lesson from our favourite book, the dictionary!

Em-pa-thy.

Noun- the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Lesson over.  😀

I agree that lack of empathy is a very important reason into why people commit crimes, but I have a also read an article that states that

Empathy can be used to help or to hurt others”. (Mary C. Lamia Psychology Today).

It was very interesting an explained that people who have a lack of empathy can hurt others so simply because they are oblivious to everyone else’s feelings.  But then Lamia explained that some people, like bullies for example, which was what the article was focusing on, are aware of the feelings of others, and use those feelings to hurt someone in a way that they will know will work.

Well this makes a lot of sense to me, I mean, anyone whose brain allows them to hurt someone (because I still think it’s the brain that’s the reason), when they are unaware of how that person feels can do it really.  Yeah they probably could see the person is in pain, or scared, but they must not be able to relate to it so it would be much easier than to actually feel that persons emotions and hurt them anyway.

That’s led me to think that people who have empathy can be a whole lot worse than those who lack it.  Because they know how someone feels, or know exactly how to hurt them in the most personal way, and they do it.  Now we have yet another sample of humans taking something good that can be used to help, and using it for bad.

^ That sounded very Disney that last sentence did.  I apologize tremendously.

A thought has just come to me while getting distracted with an army of Disney songs in my head.  A trait of Serial Killers (I pride myself in knowing all the approved traits Psychologists have given Serial Killers (and yes, I do know that’s a strange way to spend your weekend) ) says that Serial Killers, around their adolescence time, tend to torture and kill animals.  I always just assumed that was because it was easier to get away with, but maybe, the reason, or another reason they prey on animals, is because it is more difficult to empathise with them, and therefore, easier to hurt them.

I hope I’ve not made anyone upset about dead animals- if I have, here’s something to cheer you up and you can thank me later!

Image

Next destination- Google Scholar!

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