THE CASE AGAINST EMPATHY
After reading this article my view on empathy has changed. Never would I have thought that empathy, to in extent, to lead me to be biased. Empathy as explained in the article can come from a place of positivity and light however it almost puts too much specified light. Empathy can be a biased mindset due to human nature. We as humans tend to make our minds up about empathy saying it is almost like compassion. Compassion is a feeling of wanting to help and make the situation better. Empathy on the other hand is more or a burdening word. We show empathy almost as if it is when it is convenient for us. Empathy shines the light on one particular situation or person rather the big picture. We simply cannot put ourselves in hundreds of other people's shoes. One or two maybe but nothing more. "Empathy is biased and plays favorites" we lean towards things that might makes us feel more empathy. Our personal struggles mine makes us learn towards those of whom struggled in the same ways. Empathy, again sheds a very narrow light on certain topics and ideas. Empathy can be great in a positive sense but in the negative is becomes more and more biased. We are not going to share the bad emotions with someone through empathy. We want to be that strong should for someone. While on the other hand when someone shares positive and happy news we tend to want to empathize and share in that joy. That is exactly what happens with bigger issues in the world. We turn a blind eye to the bad issues more rather than the positive because we do not want to feel those bad emotions.
I thin through HUman centered design we as designers need to take out our emotions of empathy. I believe this can be a hindrance. Sure we can empathize for people and with people but that is going to limit us. We need to lean toward compassion. Compassion is going to give us that soft side of wanting to help but not putting ourselves in the situations fully. This might sound a little backwards. Why would you not want to put yourself in their shoes. You simply cannot. You have to look at ideas and topics as if you are a scientist looking in a microscope. We have to be above and take ourselves out of the situation in order to see the overall problems. We have the capacity to learn and be apart of a research design project but not from on perspective. HUman centered design has taught me that I must look at the big picture and the overall outcome. I can not narrow in on one person, problem or situation. It must be an overview in order to create a solution that will help many not just one.
The Case Against Empathy by: Sean Illing