Requires sincerity

As humans we are programmed to detect and dislike insincerity, perhaps because we intuitively sense it is not safe or trustworthy. We need to be on our guard around an insincere person. It is almost as if we have an in-built radar for detecting pretense. We detect it through subtle hints in body language, tone of voice or perhaps an inexplicable feeling of unease. There is no question about it – ‘false empathy’ is counter-productive: it backfires on the perpetrator. Genuinely empathetic people elicit a very different response.