Model: 6 aspects of empathy

November 16th, 2019

1 Emotion Contagion

Feeling what others feel


2 Empathic Accuracy

Knowing what you feel

Being able to name the emotion.

Having specific words for different nuances of each emotion.

You can develop this in interactions.

When you <body language>, it seems to me that you're feeling <emotion>.

Is that what's going on?


3 Emotion Regulation

Making emotion less powerful, so they don't overwhelm you.

This allows you to do the next aspect

(2)Naming them helps with this.


4 Perspective Taking

What would I do

is different from

What would they do


Or like, or feel, or ...


Like I described earlier in How to treat people


treat people like you wish to be treated

but instead

treat people like they want to be treated


5 Concern for Others

People sometimes seem to not be concerned for others.

But this can have 2 very different causes

  • don't care for others

  • care so much, but can't act, helplessness causing emphatic burnout


6 Perceptive Engagement

This is the final goal.

Treating people in a way that helps them.

Sometimes this means acting, doing something for someone.

Sometimes this means ignoring someone.



When you see someone clumsily falling, what they want most of all could be that nobody saw them.

You can be


, and go help them up.

You can be


, and ask them and be okay.

But maybe the


thing to do, would be to ignore them and act like nothing happened.



no description for image available


(src: Book: The Art of Empathy - Karla McLaren)