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do men feel empathy

Can men feel empathy?

March 3, 2008

My best friend has a theory – that men can not be truly empathetic. And for the men reading this, here’s the definition:

Empathy: one’s ability to recognize, perceive and feel the emotions of another; often characterized as the ability to “put oneself into another’s shoes”.

Take this scenario as a case in point. No hard feelings toward the male subject in this story, after all, he is a man and this is apparantly a trait they can’t help. Just read this study.

Tonight, while in his sweet bath, Benjamin knocked his tooth into the side of the tub. All I hear is – CRACK! – his front capped tooth had just split again. The first time, this winter, he had fallen outside and it was a bloody mess. But this time – the tooth is shattered into three pieces that are somehow sticking together. Benjamin is calm during the bath and all is well. But as soon as we get out. He notices. He takes his little, itty bitty fingers and starts pushing his broken tooth around. He can’t even eat his yogurt snack.

My heart is breaking into a million pieces as I look at my sweet, sweet little guy and imagine the damn pain he’s going to have to feel tomorrow when they have to cap it again.

Tell this story to any woman and you’re bound to get a reaction filled with gasps and lots and lots of questions. All followed by words of comfort like, “don’t worry, everything will be fine,” “is there anything I can do?”, “I’m so sorry this happened.”

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