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

posted in: Empathic Skills | 16

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 … Read More

The difference between healthy empathy and martyrdom

posted in: Empathy | 16

Balancing empathy for others with empathy for yourself When I talk about empathy, I tend to use the words healthy and intentional a great deal of the time.  If your empathy is unintentional, and you’re not sure how it works, it can be very easy to enmesh yourself with other people’s emotions and needs — to the extent that you ignore your own.  You can lose … Read More

The difference between empathy and enmeshment

posted in: Empathy | 40

Hello fellow empathic people! Did you know that there’s a distinct difference between healthy empathy and enmeshment? I’ve spent a lifetime exploring how empathy works, how it goes awry, how we can understand it more clearly, and how we can create a ground for self-care and self-empathy within our everyday lives. I’ve also been looking at an idea about empathy that goes something like this: Empathy … Read More

The Six Essential Aspects of Empathy, Part 6: Perceptive Engagement

posted in: Empathy | 0

Perceptive Engagement! Perceptive Engagement can be considered the pinnacle of your empathic skills, because it relies upon all of your first five aspects of empathy and helps you connect with others in truly supportive and workable ways. So far, we’ve looked at the first five of your Six Essential Aspects of Empathy. Today, we’ll look at the culminating aspect, which occurs when all of the aspects … Read More

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

posted in: Empathy | 0

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. Let’s revisit the six aspects so that we can understand where Perspective Taking fits into the larger picture: … Read More

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

posted in: Empathy | 0

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! Let’s revisit the six aspects so that we can understand where Emotion Regulation fits into the larger picture: Emotion Contagion: Before empathy can … Read More

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

posted in: Empathy | 0

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! Let’s revisit the six aspects so that we can understand where Empathic Accuracy fits into the larger picture: Emotion Contagion: Before empathy can take place, you need to sense that … Read More

The Six Essential Aspects of Empathy, Part 1: Emotion Contagion

posted in: Empathy | 9

A new approach to empathy! In my book and audio learning program, The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life’s Most Essential Skill, I focus on my Six Essential Aspects of Empathy model, starting with the first, which has a strange name: Emotion Contagion. Before empathy can take place, you need to sense that an emotion is occurring – or that an emotion is expected … Read More

The gifts of contentment: Appreciation and recognition

posted in: Emotions | 8

Welcoming contentment! We just looked at happiness as a wonderful emotion that looks outward, or forward to the future, with hope and delight, and now we come to our friend contentment, which is a form of happiness and pleasure that turns inward, toward you, and says, “Hey, good job!” (Excerpt from The Language of Emotions): Happiness tends to anticipate a bright future, while contentment tends to … Read More

Welcoming the gifts of anxiety

posted in: Emotions | 8

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! When I look at the problem of nuance, I see that so many … Read More

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