What keeps us from being empathic? Lots of things actually. Remember, having empathy is intentional; it’s a practice. It’s when we lose our focus that we run into problems.
Cognitive biases are the ways in which we perceive the world around us and the filters that we use in order to make sense of our world. An example of cognitive bias is only paying attention to news stories that confirm our opinions. Cough – Facebook. Another example is blaming outside factors when things don’t go our way. Guilty! Other people’s success is luck, but for me? It’s all hard work and my accomplishments. Cognitive bias! See how that happens? Cognitive bias is a powerful tool, and can lead to distorted thinking. Conspiracy theory anyone? But bias is not necessarily always bad. Again, be introspective and intentional. Truly consider and think about how bias might be influencing your thinking. And while bias can help us make decisions quickly, biases can also make it difficult for us to see all of the factors in a situation which in turn makes it difficult to see things from the perspective of another. And that’s our true goal isn’t it?