The surprising downsides of empathy

On CBeebies, the BBC service for little children, there’s a programme called Treasure Champs, which aims to teach young viewers about their feelings, and how to manage them. In one episode, the character Barry – a blue rectangle with pink eyebrows – is glum about the result of his football match. “We lost,” says Barry. “It doesn’t matter!” says Kari. “It was my fault. I let all the goals in.” “I don’t understand why you’re so sad. Just forget about it.” “I can’t.” “Why not? It’s just a game.” “You’re not showing a lot of empathy, Kari. It means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.” “Your shoes won’t fit me, Barry.” ….[READ]