And turns out, there’s sci­ence behind why we feel com­pas­sion toward people who have been in our same boat. In one small study, researchers found that humans’ sense of com­pas­sion actu­ally increases when there’s a common con­nec­tion with the other person. “What these results sug­gest is that the com­pas­sion we feel for others is not solely a func­tion of what befalls them: if our minds draw an asso­ci­a­tion between a victim and our­selves — even a rel­a­tively trivial one — the com­pas­sion we feel for his or her suf­fering is ampli­fied greatly,” study researcher and North­eastern Uni­ver­sity psy­chology pro­fessor David DeSteno, Ph.D., wrote in The New York Times.

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