How Anxiety Reduces Empathy

In short, my empathy for others plummeted as my anxiety mounted—and a recent paper helps explain this phenomenon by linking anxiety to egocentrism. In doing so, it provides yet another reason why cultivating empathy is so crucial…


Now more than ever, we need to train our empathy muscles. Consider trying these science-based practices, particularly if you’re prone to anxiety:

Active Listening: Listen better and express active interest in your conversational partner, making them feel heard and understood.

Shared Identity: Think of someone who is very different from you, and then try to imagine all the ways that you two are similar—seeing them as an individual, not an out-group member.

Mindful Breathing: Focus attention on your own breathing to cultivate awareness.


by Kira M. Newman