When suicide is in the news

Providing responsible information about suicide When famous people commit suicide, and breathless news reports glorify or confuse the situation, there is the danger that others will follow their lead. Careful and sensitive reporting can reduce this risk, and providing straightforward information about depression and suicide can help suffering people find help. If you are feeling suicidal here in the U.S., you can contact the 988 Suicide … Read More

The difference between deep empathy and niceness

When people think of empathy, they tend to see it as a soft skill — as a yielding and pleasing kind of behavior. They think: If you listen to me and agree with me and make me feel good, that’s empathy. If you fix my problems and soothe everything, that’s empathy. Empathy equals niceness. But there’s actually a deeper form of empathy that transcends mere niceness … Read More

How accurate is your empathy?

How good are your Emotion-Recognition skills? Last week, we looked at a vital part of the first aspect of empathy (Emotion Contagion), which is your capacity to feel your way into the emotions of others. And with the support of the concept of Einfühlung, we also opened up our idea of empathy to include your capacity to feel into and alongside nonhuman actors like animals and … Read More

Einfühlung and Empathy: What do they mean?

Previously, we looked at the first of my six aspects of empathy, Emotion Contagion. We also talked about the importance of art for people whose Emotion Contagion skills are very strong (hyper-empathic people), and also for people whose skills are currently less developed. The good news is that the six essential aspects of empathy are changeable, malleable, and manageable throughout your life span; therefore, you can make … Read More

Welcome to The Year of Empathy!

Hello and Happy New Year! In 2012, I wrote The Art of Empathy, and I posted about my work, about the empathy research being done in over half-a-dozen different academic disciplines, and about ways that you can work with each of the six essential aspects of empathy that I defined and organized in this book. To start us off, let’s look at the first aspect of … Read More

How the world didn’t end — again

Hello time travelers! Last year, I made a prophecy about the Mayan 2012 prophecy, which is being promoted by some as either the end of the world or the beginning of a new dawn in human spiritual development. Since I grew up in a spiritual group that believed in an earlier version of this exact same prophecy, I took an empathic, historic look at prophecies that … Read More

Autism Acceptance Month: Empathy in Action

Dear Fellow Empaths, April is here with its promise of Spring, but this has also become a time that can cause a great deal of pain for many autistic people and parents of autistic children. Why? Because tomorrow (April 2nd) is Autism Awareness Day, and in many cases, the awareness focus is on alarmist rhetoric about epidemics and despair — and on finding a cure at … Read More

Is it a Feeling or is it an Emotion?

We’ve all seen it. Something is said or written, and someone will go off. I mean off. Rage, hatred, or both at once.  A fight starts, and maybe these intense emotions get handled between two people, or maybe they don’t (online interactions specialize in the maybe they don’t category). So the raging people invite allies to share (and justify) their intense emotions, and a flame war … Read More

An emotion book for children!

Hello! I’ve found a very good book for helping children identify and understand their emotions! It’s called Understanding Myself: A Kid’s Guide to Intense Emotions and Strong Feelings by Dr. Mary Lamia. Dr. Lamia is a clinical psychologist who wrote this book for children 8 years and up (parents can read the book to younger children), and it includes descriptions of emotions, explanations for why you … Read More

Empaths on the Autism Spectrum, part 2

Continued from part 1 After spending just two weeks as an academic liaison for twenty-two people on the Autism Spectrum (and getting a sense for their inner lives), I started to observe my own behavior more closely. I’m very sensitive to sounds, colors, movement, and social cues — I love patterns, numbers, and being alone, and I have intense (often excruciating) empathy. I wondered: Am I … Read More

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