The difference between deep empathy and niceness

posted in: Empathy | 12

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

The twisted love inside hatred, revisited!

posted in: Emotions | 15

The twisted love in hatred Previously, we looked at the connection between hatred, disgust, and rage. Rage is the aggressive aspect of hatred that can make you obsess over your hate targets and project all sorts of troubling material onto them. The fascinating thing about hatred is that you actually choose your hate targets not simply because they’re odious, but because they’re specifically odious in ways that … Read More

Embracing your hatred and saving the world

posted in: Emotions | 10

Hatred: The Shadowy and Necessary Emotion As we take a tour through the emotional realm, we’ve started with the emotions that help you set boundaries: Anger, guilt and shame, and apathy (the mask for anger). Today, we’ll look at an emotion that can set boundaries in very troubling ways if you don’t know how to work with it: hatred. Actually, we’ll continue to look at hatred … Read More

The twisted love inside hatred

posted in: Empathic Skills | 6

Yesterday, we looked at the projection we do when we hate. We choose our hate targets not simply because they’re odious, but because they’re specifically odious in ways that cause specific, shadow-driven ragequakes inside us. Yes, I made that word up, but it feels quite apropos. Let me take a giant step back today and say that projecting material onto other people is a common practice … Read More

Hatred and Shadow Work

posted in: Empathic Skills | 6

In preparing to talk about hatred, we’ve looked at the shadow, which is the part of us that is suppressed, disowned, or dishonored. The Jungian tradition of  shadow work shows us how to retrieve material that has been forced (or has fallen) into the shadow. If we don’t know how to work with it, our shadow material can become quite toxic.  We can even create entire … Read More

Is it a feeling or is it an emotion?

posted in: Emotions | 26

I know I’m supposed to be posting about hatred right now, but there’s a distinction that needs to be established before we can really go into any depth with a big, meaty, potentially dangerous emotion like hatred. I call hatred one of the “raging rapids” emotions, because if you don’t know what hatred is about or how to work with it, you can easily get caught … Read More

The Shadow Knows

posted in: Empathic Skills | 5

In the 1930s, there was an excellent radio show called The Shadow that enchanted millions of people, my father included. The Shadow was a serialized detective show, and each week, the announcer would ask in a deep baritone voice: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!” In 1937, the young Orson Wells lent his voice to the radio show and … Read More