Wednesday 21 August 2019

Empathy Spam

All the HPANWO blogs are set for comments to be hidden until they are approved by the admin, which is me. This is to stop the trolls infesting the comments boxes. I also receive a lot of spam, that is comments posted for the purposes of advertizing. Many of them look normal with words like "Interesting blog. Thanks.", but the words are actually hyperlinks to promotions for everything from furniture superstores to cheap rail fares. I broke a rule the other day because somebody posted a spam link on this HPANWO Voice article, which I recommend reading for background: The comment is in the illustration and I felt it was worth the HPANWO readers seeing. The webpage it links to appears to be a cache, which is odd because it was only created in May. You will notice that the comments box on it doesn't work. The page gives an overview of what empathy is which is fairly accurate. Not all empaths are shy and quiet. I myself return as "ENFJ- the protagonist" on the Myers-Briggs personality inventory (Maybe I'll cover that in more detail in a future article). There are links highlighted on the article for more information. It then goes on to discuss what the author sees as the different types of empaths: cognitive empaths, affective empaths and compassionate empaths. The three sound quite similar really and I expect I am a mixture of them all. Then the article continues with: "Empathy can take over someone's mind quite easily, so it's important to practice setting healthy boundaries." This is similar to the point made in the background link above about the dark side of empathy. We empaths have learned to limit ourselves in order to avoid becoming completely overwhelmed by the characteristic passions of our disorder. Then the article asks whether empaths are rare. The answer it gives is a simple "yes", but it then describes empathy as a skill. This is strange because most pop psychology is geared towards teaching empaths the skills of suppressing their nature as a survival mechanism in mainstream society. The article then goes on to contradict itself when it says: "Even worse, many empaths get taken advantage of so they might try to conceal their empathic side once they reach a critical burnout point." Empathy burnout is a personality breakdown caused by the all too familiar trauma of conformist exploitation, but that's a subject for another time. However, the gist of the statement is that getting taken advantage of is inevitable and normal. Conventional ethics sometimes even calls it good. Those who take advantage are doing nothing wrong, are they? So are we to conceal or nurture this "skill"? The article is not clear on that. The final paragraph is straight out of a cheap mass-market self-help paperback: "As you can see, there are many ways to express empathy. Work to nurture your own innate sense of empathy to strengthen and deepen your relationships." Source: However, empathy rarely does strengthen and deepen relationships. If anything, it makes them more unstable and difficult, on the rare occasions they get off the ground at all. This is for a variety of reasons, one of which is that empaths are generally hated and shunned in this EastEnders world we live in. It is a disorder that this soap opera urges us to shake off. I still thought the comment linked to an interesting article and so I'm glad I approved it.

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