Diary #239 Empathy vs Compassion

Have you heard that being too empathetic as nurse can lead to burnout? 

In fact many roles in society where one is responsible for others can be prone to this.  But then how can one be 'caring' and continue to function well?


A good approach is breaking down a 'caring attitude' into elements. One part can be empathy, the ability to relate logically and emotionally to others. Another part is compassion, the ability to 'hold someones feelings', like a mother's hug.


A neuroscientist-monk Matthieu Ricard has been exploring this.  The conclusion is that empathy is very useful BUT if there is risk of burnout, cultivating compassion is healthierHere is a 4 min youtube video.


Now you may ask, how do I differentiate between the two?  The best way in my view is spending time and time and time observing my internal landscape through targeted meditation practices.




Author: JD

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay


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