Being Empathic vs Being Nice

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Let us not confuse being nice with being empathic.

Being nice aims to conform our behaviors
to static images defined by social norms.
Being empathic aims to custom design behaviors
to fit the specifics of self and other in interaction.

Being nice judges
what behaviors are absolutely good or right.
Being empathic (re)discovers
what behaviors are good or right for which context
of self and other in interaction.

When people respond negatively to our being nice,
we may feel appalled,
maybe even resentful of how ungrateful they seem.
When people respond negatively to our being empathic,
we may feel curious,
maybe even eager to learn how to design new behaviors.
Behaviors better fit for the context of self and other in interaction.