Tag Archive for "Empathic Skills"

Emotion work revisited!

I’ve had the opportunity to bring my work into the corporate world recently, and I’m having such a wonderful time! In Emotional Dynamics at Work®, we’re working on emotions, empathy, and the crucial concept of emotion work, and I want to share it with you. Understanding emotion work In her groundbreaking book, The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, sociologist Arlie Hochschild (pronounced hoke-shilled) described what she termed emotional labor, or the way that our emotions and emotional states are a part of what we offer (and what is expected from us) in the workplace. In her book, Hochschild gives examples of flight attendants, who must not only understand the intricacies of their physical work on airplanes, but must also display an open and welcoming demeanor to passengers. Even when passengers are bad-tempered or overly needy, part of the work of a flight attendant is to continually offer a calm, (Read more...)

Are you an empath?

Hello! After studying empathy and emotions for four decades, I’ve developed a very simple and accurate way to tell if you’re an empath. Are you ready to find out?   Karla McLaren’s Amazingly Accurate Quiz for Empaths   Question 1: Are you breathing? Yes/No (choose one) Yes? You’re an empath. No? Take a breath and start over at Question 1. (spoiler alert) Congratulations! You’re an empath! That’s a joke, and yet I’m also being serious. Empathy isn’t a magical skill that only special people possess. Empathy is a central feature of human intelligence and communication.

A surprising new empathic skill: Complaining! (Consciously!)

When people think of empathy, they tend to see it as a soft skill, full of yielding and niceness. That’s a part of empathy, but there’s a deeper and more full-bodied form of empathy that helps you engage with people when they (and you!) are not feeling nice at all. In The Art of Empathy, I share a number of relationship skills for dealing with conflict and for repairing bonds, and this is one of my favorites: Conscious Complaining.

January 4th to January 9th, 2015 — The Art of Empathy at Kripalu!

The Art of Empathy Retreat at Kripalu Learning How to Balance Connection, Self-Awareness, and Healthy Intimacy Empathy is possibly your most essential skill, yet many of us trip over it because we weren’t taught how it works. In this six-day program at the delightful Kripalu retreat center in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, you’ll join empathy pioneer Karla McLaren in an experiential exploration of The Art of Empathy.

January 5th to January 10th, 2014 — The Art of Empathy at Kripalu

The Art of Empathy Retreat Learning How to Balance Connection, Self-Awareness, and Healthy Intimacy Empathy is possibly your most essential skill, yet many of us trip over it because we weren’t taught how it works. In this week-long program at the delightful Kripalu retreat center in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, you’ll join empathy pioneer Karla McLaren in an experiential exploration of The Art of Empathy.

The Six Essential Aspects of Empathy, Part 4: Perspective Taking

Learning to see and feel from the perspective of others Your Perspective Taking ability helps you imaginatively see and feel things from the perspectives of others. This skill is crucial to your ability to empathize skillfully; good Perspective Taking can help you understand what others want and need.

The Six Essential Aspects of Empathy, Part 3: Emotion Regulation

Learning to work with your emotions Your Emotion Regulation skills help you feel, understand, and work with your own emotions. These abilities are crucial to your capacity to empathize skillfully; good Emotion Regulation skills can make your experience of empathy much more comfortable!

The Six Essential Aspects of Empathy, Part 2: Empathic Accuracy

Becoming accurate with your empathy The crucial second aspect of empathy, Empathic Accuracy, helps you identify and understand emotions in yourself and others. This skill can make your experience of empathy much more precise and workable!

Ingenious stagnation — Understanding depression

Discovering the gifts of depression Situational depression arises when some aspect of your life is already unworkable or dysfunctional; depression stops you for a vital reason. When we looked at the gifts of sadness, I talked about what I call the fundamental correlation error that I see with many emotions — which is that people blame emotions for making them feel bad, rather than understanding that all emotions arise in response to very specific stimuli. Emotions are action-requiring neurological programs like that.

Welcoming the gifts of anxiety

There are gifts in anxiety? Yes! People are often very surprised to learn that anxiety contains specific gifts, because anxiety is usually described only in terms of disorder or disease. However, at its most subtle level, anxiety (which is related to fear) helps you plan for the future and complete important tasks. Really!

Fear: Intuition, instincts, and awareness

Welcoming the gifts of fear! As we take an empathic tour through the emotional realm, we’ve started with the emotions that help you set boundaries: Anger, guilt and shame, the masking state of apathy, and hatred. Today, we’ll look at an intuitive emotion that helps you orient yourself, connect with your instincts, and keep yourself safe: fear. Fear arises to orient you to change, novelty, or possible physical hazards. Fear focuses on the present moment and your immediate surroundings.

Understanding multiple emotions

 The Wonderful World of Multiple Emotions! There are four ideas about emotions that are widely shared and accepted — yet are absolutely problematic. These four commonly accepted ideas actually prevent you from being able to approach your emotions — or anyone else’s — intelligently. They are: The problem with valencing (imagining that there are positive or negative emotions, or pro-social or anti-social emotions) The problem with expression and repression (having only two options for working with your emotions, both of which can be unhelpful) The problem of nuance (not understanding that emotions arise in a multitude of intensities, and are present in your every waking moment) The problem of quantity (not realizing that it is completely normal for emotions to arise in pairs, groups, and clusters) In this excerpt from my new book, The Art of Empathy, let’s look at the way multiple emotions act and interact in your everyday (Read more...)

Bringing nuance to your emotional life

The Wonderful World of Emotional Nuance! As we study emotions empathically, I’m starting out by focusing on four ideas that are widely shared, completely accepted — and absolutely problematic. These four commonly accepted ideas actually prevent you from being able to approach your emotions — or anyone else’s — intelligently. They are: The problem with valencing (imagining that there are positive or negative emotions, or pro-social or anti-social emotions) The problem with expression and repression (having only two options for working with your emotions, both of which can be unhelpful) The problem of nuance (not understanding that emotions arise in a multitude of intensities, and are present in your every waking moment) The problem of quantity (not realizing that it is completely normal for emotions to arise in pairs, groups, and clusters) In this excerpt from my new book The Art of Empathy, let’s look at the problem of not (Read more...)

Embodying Empathy — An April Workshop in Berkeley!

A day-long intensive with Nick Walker and Karla McLaren Saturday, April 6th, 2013 in Berkeley Empathy is everywhere in the news, in books, and in our conversations about each other and our world — and empathy is possibly the most important social skill you possess. However, empathy can be very fragile. It is common to get triggered and lose the capacity to empathize in the presence of conflict, difference, anger, fear, anxiety, and defensiveness. You may attack or withdraw, or you may become unable to think or feel your way to a more workable response. The solution: Learn to fully embody your empathy so that it becomes a safe and reliable stance that you can return to in times of trouble.

Four ideas that lead directly to emotional confusion

The Wonderful World of Emotions! As we study emotions empathically, we’ll look at each emotion in terms of what it does, what gifts it brings you, and how you can work with it — but before we look at emotions individually, I’d like to focus on four ideas that are widely shared, completely accepted — and absolutely problematic. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s ground-breaking reframing of emotions as action-requiring neurological programs is wonderfully helpful, but there’s so much trouble in the emotional realm that I want to clear away four ideas that create endless emotional confusion. Before we can empathically explore the specific actions your emotions require, we need to take a look at some commonly accepted ideas that actually prevent you from being able to approach your emotions — or anyone else’s — intelligently. The problem with valencing (imagining that there are positive or negative emotions, or pro-social or anti-social emotions) (Read more...)

1 2 3 4