A friend of mine was a regular daytime soap star in the 1990s.
Years afterward, strangers would see her in public (in common places like grocery stores) and “have that look,” meaning they would light up with subconscious recognition of her in a positive and energetic way, but were unaware of the connection stirring such feelings.
Upon approach, they would initially assume some form of intimate connection with her (such as having been friends in high school), rather than having entered empathetically in the topsy-turvy emotional rollercoaster that was her character’s life during those years on a soap opera.
Through experience and through science,
We have learned that friendships create bonds of empathy.
We are also learning that deep empathy creates bonds of friendships.
Could it be there is no distinction between the two, but that they arise together, non-linearly?
If this is indeed so, doesn’t it mean that we can actively create (or destroy) friendships through our empathy or lack thereof? Even with strangers we have never met before?
Homework: Test this hypothesis out in real-time this week and let me know the results.