How Anxiety Reduces Empathy

It turns out that anxiety can have a negative effect on not just ourselves, but our dealings with others. In a recent series of studies on how specific emotions influence perspective taking, participants experiencing emotions with uncertainty, like anxiety and surprise, displayed greater egocentrism than those feeling other emotions such as anger or disgust or even neutral feelings. When stressed with uncertainty, it seems, we tend to default back to our own perspectives and feelings, thereby compromising our ability to empathize. If this is true, then the implications of these findings extend far beyond just ourselves but to society as a whole. Read more about the studies, find tips to strengthen empathy, and explore further via links.

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