Women's Health

Heavy Lifting

Your friend calls you in tears about her recent breakup, your dad says he’s lonely, and your husband is having work troubles. You feel for them, really feel for them, and that’s a positive! Empathy, or the ability to understand a situation from another person’s point of view, helps build connections, says Helen Riess, MD, director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of The Empathy Effect.

But like any other good thing, you can have too much of it.

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