One opposite of empathy

I think the word empathy has many possible opposites.

Among them: Certainty.

  • Certainty that you know what’s best for someone when you do not live in their shoes.
  • Certainty that pities or disdains someone with a different point of view.
  • Certainty that responds to someone else’s suffering with a platitude that does nothing to patch the pain.

The empathetic exercise of trying on someone else’s experience, attempting to feel from the same place they feel, is a creative act (one we need more of in this world). And if I’m so certain, so cemented into my own position, I’m less able to do it.

I feel certain about this right now. Uncertain how to resolve that. Hitting publish.

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