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Empathic vs. emotional

I’m always under the impression that many people mix being empathic and emotional. Oxford dictionary states:


  • having the ability to understand another person’s feelings, experience, etc.


  • causing people to feel strong emotions
  • (sometimes disapproving) showing strong emotions, some in a way that other people think is unnecessary

One can exist without the other or at least be less prominent. A self-absorbed movie celebrity can have excessive public displays of emotions in response to critic reviews, but have no consideration for colleagues on a movie set, friends, or family. On the other hand, a grandmother that lived a harsh life dulled her emotions to cope, but can pull from that experience to understand how people feel in complex situations.

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