There are definitions of metta and karuna here: What are metta and karuna?
There's a metta-bhavana meditation.
I'm wondering how to practice these socially, though, e.g. as a lay person when talking with people individually or in a group (or perhaps even as a monk talking with people).
In particular what type of view should you try to have of (or see in) people?
My question is sparked by this comment:
I posted the way of the Buddha, which is metta plus asuba. Asuba alone won't work. Metta is to view women as mothers, sisters & daughters rather than to view them as sex objects. If you can see that sexual promiscuity of women diminishes & often destroys the capacity for good motherhood, then you might understand the teachings of Gotama better. In summary, asuba is not really necessary for laypeople. It is generally pointless suggesting asuba to a layperson who does not have the disposition to be a monk.
I found that comment questionable, because why not view women as people?
Viewing "women" as "mothers" sounds like pigeon-holing "them" as just another type of sex-object (gender-specific-object) or social role/stereotype/function (slave).
I mean, "yes" to metta -- but "metta" isn't necessarily to "view women as mothers", or is it?
But then the question occurred, if metta isn't as described in the comment then what does metta mean?
The reason I found the above comment questionable is because I expect a person (a woman) might view him- or her-self in a variety of ways: as a mother, as an adult child, as a consumer, as a worker, an athlete, a friend, a volunteer, a voter, and so on ... different views (different ambitions or roles) at different times.
I think that holding a view of someone that isn't the same as their own current view of themselves is a form of harm and a cause of suffering (e.g. a view like "you can't be a friend because you're a woman", "you can't be an employee because you're a mother", "you can't be political because you're a girl", while she wants to be a friend or employee or etc).
So maybe "sympathy" means that you should see other people as they see themselves? But someone's view-of-self might be a cause of suffering too, so maybe it's better if you don't try to see each person as they see themselves? Perhaps it's fantasy to hope that you can see others as they themselves, except in limited circumstances (e.g. in a job interview)? In summary this question (about metta and interacting with people) has devolved towards views-of-self and the thicket-of-views.
So what can be said about metta and karuna, if they interact with identity-view, self-view?
What does a kind of transactional behaviour (attitude) sound like (is it good or bad?) e.g. a view like, "you're a bus driver and I'm here because I'm on the bus ... it doesn't matter who you think you are, nothing matters except your driving the bus and me having an absolute minimum standard of politeness so as not to be actually offensive"?
Sorry if this is a confused question. The suttas (e.g. Sigalovada Sutta) necessarily talk about general truths, and ends up maybe seeming impersonal, cold, robotic, and I'm not sure if that's the right impression or the whole lesson.