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really help me put things together, life is so draining when living everyone else's problems as well.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
For me, more information about the scientific evidence (mentioned early on) for the claims in the book would have been helpful. Without that it feels a little superficial, although some descriptions ring true. Generally I felt some opportunities were missed to go into more depth. For example meditation gets mentioned but there's little discussion about how it might relate to empathy (nb there's been some recent research in this area that could be interesting).
My main issue was that the distinctions between understanding the thoughts of others, understanding their feelings, and sharing in those feelings weren't made explicit, although science tells us that these processes are distinct and can dissociate. In defining what makes someone an empath, the writer claims that if one has successfully interpreted someone else's thought, they are probably an empath. I understand the argument that empaths are 'normal' people, however I think there's an argument that even groups with known deficits in understanding others will have, on occasion, been successful in doing so, but couldn't reasonably be considered 'empaths' so for me that was a little misleading. I liked the implication that empathy can be used in negative ways, e.g. to manipulate others (psychopathy isn't mentioned but comes to mind) and I think a clearer definition of empathy would help to clarify that argument too (e.g psychopaths supposedly have good 'cognitive' empathy, but lack the emotion sharing component).