In school, I remember sharing a bad experience with a classmate and feeling better instantly as he empathized and listened to me attentively. The classmate wasn’t a friend; he was actually more of a stranger. Later when I narrated this to a friend, she told me that it is sometimes easier to talk with strangers. There must be some truth in that statement as with a stranger, when both you and the stranger are trying to put their best foot forward (first meetings), empathy comes easily and there is less fear of being judged. Well, here’s a stress buster robot therapist called Ellie that behaves like a non-judgemental and empathetic listener that US army soldiers love to talk with.
Talking about empathy, a supposedly positive emotion, here’s an article which says that empathy may be disastrous in several cases in a world of overprotected human beings.