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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

BTDT - The Empathy Gap

There Done That

'BTDT - The Empathy Gap'

Whenever we are confused or are in a state of panic, we seek compassion & 'Empathetic Concern'. We intuitively look out for people who we believe can understand our problems.

The Million $ Dilemma ... should we reach out to a person who has undergone the same/similar experiences OR someone who has not experienced the same ?

Whilst extended traditional logic makes us believe that experience breeds empathy, research shows differently. Many people may instinctively be seeking compassion from the same set of people they are most unlikely to get !

'BTDT' Syndrome is antithesis to Empathetic Concern. Those having endured similar challenges are actually the people less likely to show compassion to you. Tons of Women Managers have told me they prefer not to work under senior women Managers.

Having successfully undergone an aversive experience makes people recall their own experiences as being painful & emotionally trying but the euphoria of their success makes them underestimate the pain they had experienced. Rachel Ruttan calls it the 'Empathy Gap'.Men make better Diversity Partners.

'Empathetic' mentoring makes us tell our Mentees - " first, learn to walk a mile in their shoes". Turns out that is exactly the wrong thing to do !

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