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Empathy Fatigue Is Real. Here’s How to Manage It.

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, empathy helps us relate better to others, from loved ones to coworkers and customers. But what if the line between our feelings and what other people feel starts to blur?

Can we experience empathy fatigue from having too much empathy?Empathy fatigue occurs when we relate too much to the suffering of others, causing us to feel overwhelmed and burned out.

Our relationships can be affected, too. In a small 2020 of people with high empathy, researchers found that the trait “presented as significantly impacting intrapersonal and interpersonal processes sometimes for benefit within both the professional and personal realms but often with negative impact.”The problem isn’t necessarily that we have too much empathy, but the way we’re expressing it is a type of “overwork,” says Matt Lundquist, psychotherapist and the founder and clinical director of Tribeca Therapy.

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