Your brain shows love is not a feeling: With empathy, do you really ‘feel’ other people’s pain?

Love’s weapon against intolerance is empathy. It is a special weapon because it does not require that you personally know someone or care about them for you to “feel” their pain.


It is a wiring that seems to be widespread enough in humans and some animals to be fundamental. We bank on our natural tendency to empathize. That is why it is not surprising that we mount efforts to appeal to strangers to help in the lives of people beset by tragedy.


But with empathy, do you really “feel” their pain? A recent study found that when you empathize with other people’s pain, you do not really feel for them but you understand their pain.


Maria Isabel Garcia