Forced Empathy- Christine Sellers

Empathy is something I think we could all use a little more of, whether we use it to identify with someone else in their situation or someone shows empathy towards ours. When we show empathy for someone, we are making an attempt to understand what they are going through, the act of “putting oneself in another’s shoes.”

For some reason, when thinking of this act the movie Freaky Friday came to mind. Let me know if this is actually an accurate example or not. Could it be an example of..forced empathy?

So Lindsay Lohan and her mom, Jamie Lee Curtis, don’t get along AT ALL in the movie. They never empathize with one another, and their relationhip sucks because of that fact. Then, through the power of chinese voodoo, they literally walk in one another’s shoes as they magically switch bodies. In the end, all is well because they finally understand the daily turmoils and challenges that each of them face. In the end, they empathized with one another.

That works, right? I think so, just in an extremely literal sense. Normally with empathy, you experience feelings for a loved one vicariously because you want to help them with what they are going through. They are suffering, so you feel you are suffering, too. In Freaky Friday, the same thing happens….just literally. 🙂

The moral? Empathize. You can never go wrong when you empathize.

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