3 min read

Empathy won't fix this.

An elderly gentleman holding a sign in a subway station that reads "seeking human kindness".
Photo by Matt Collamer / Unsplash

Apparently, people really are getting ruder.

At least, according to a recent Time article called "Why Everyone is So Rude Right Now".

And in the face of this increase in incivility, we're starting to see a lot of "Be Kind" and "Be Empathetic" messages and campaigns.

To be clear, I think empathy is an important skill that allows us to develop deep human connection and is critical to establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships. This post is not meant to discredit or disavow empathy, but to explore the downsides and barriers that prevent empathy from being the preferred fix to our current situation.

First, let's talk about the three different types of empathy - cognitive, emotional and compassionate.

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