The Power of Believing In People

Self-doubt is one of the causes of failure in people’s lives. Many people are unsure of themselves, and often need the belief of others to pull through. “Believe in yourself” is easier said than done – generally, when the rubber meets the road, people struggle with it.

You would think that money, success, or fame would stop people from doubting themselves, but this is not quite the case. Many successful people and leaders are insecure and crippled by self-doubt. My point is: there is a huge significant need for belief support. Often, we need someone to believe in us for success to happen. So, what does belief in people do for them? Here are three benefits.

It Gives Unusual Courage: I have seen this work in my coaching practice. My clients do not doubt that I strongly believe in them – I communicate it. Consequently, they get the boost to achieve phenomenal results. I have witnessed the unusual courage that people get when they are certain that someone truly believes in them – it’s magical. Self-belief is one thing, but another’s belief gives you extra strength to keep going.

In life, it is important to believe in yourself, but equally vital when someone believes in you and is willing to give you a chance. How many teams now suffer because the leader did not believe in the team members? How many children now live dysfunctional lives because their primary caregivers didn’t express belief in them? Our lives are interconnected, and self-belief alone isn’t enough. Unusual courage grows when someone (or group) truly sees you, believes in you, and is willing to bet on you.

It Restores Self-Esteem: Self-doubt means that you don’t believe you are enough in certain areas – your self-worth is under siege. Here, someone who believes in you would help you to see yourself differently, and gradually, you would move from “I am not enough” to “I am good enough”. When you believe in people, you help to heal inner wounds that made them think less of themselves. It restores and reaffirms their self-worth.

It Inspires Growth: True belief in people gives them clarity of purpose, which in turn, creates the desire for continuous growth and improvement. In this case, people become excited about the next level and take steps to achieve it. The fact that they know that you are rooting for them gives strength to move forward. Belief in people gives them the emotional anchor and stability required for sustainable success in life.

Source: The power of believing in people

Critics by Mark Goulston

Before you say anything, you need to know that I live on the top floor of my building and there’s no access to the roof,” Jack said, then gave me a “gotcha” smile, as if to test me on what I was going to say. At that point, I asked Jack what prior psychiatrists had said. He told me that they had said such things as “That sounds frustrating,” “Perhaps that’s part of your condition that I’d like to help you with” and “That may be something we can treat and make better.”

I then thought to myself, do I want to help him? Or do I want to continue to offer him a sympathetic, compassionate and yet clinical reality check, which it seemed the other psychiatrists had offered? Yet, here he was with me. I decided on the former and looked him in his challenging eyes and replied, “Jack,” to which he responded, “Yes?” I then calmly said, “I believe you.”

He paused for a moment, stopped smiling and began to cry, then sob almost like a feral cat. I thought to myself, “Great, you just unleashed a flood of paranoid delusions.” I waited patiently, believing he would eventually finish, which he did after five minutes. When he stopped, I asked him, “What was that about, Jack?” He gathered himself, and with completely bloodshot eyes and a different smile said, “It does sound frickin’ crazy!”

I then smiled in recognition of his realizing this, and we went on to have a productive psychotherapeutic relationship. What had happened? Daniel Goleman, who’s credited with identifying and explaining the importance of emotional intelligence, as well as others, identified three types or levels of empathy: cognitive, emotional and compassionate. Cognitive empathy can be described as “knowing how the other person feels and what they might be thinking.”

Having emotional empathy is “when you feel physically along with the other person, as though their emotions were contagious.” Finally, compassionate empathy is when “we not only understand a person’s predicament and feel with them, but are spontaneously moved to help.” I believe that I exhibited validational empathy with Jack, which went beyond the other three levels by telling him that I believed him.

You may think that I was taking a chance by doing that — not to mention being dishonest if another part of me had heard Jack refute his own belief disguised as a challenge prior to my response. I thought that as well. And I’m not suggesting or advocating that any of you state untruths in an effort to connect with people who say things that you don’t believe.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that telling Jack I believed him appeared to be a level of empathy that got through to him, causing him to feel less alone in his paranoid delusion and to get a sense of relief because of that. This, in turn, enabled him to self-identify and accept that he was being delusional.

Therefore, I’ll leave it to you whether there might be occasions when you’re at a standstill with another person and any of the conventional levels of empathy — cognitive, emotional or compassionate — might not be effective. If that’s the case, could using validational empathy be an instance of the end justifying the means — of breaking through to that person?

One approach that you might be comfortable with is called mediated catharsis, by which you don’t exactly tell the person you believe what they’re saying. Instead, you align with it and exaggerate it for empathic emphasis, saying something like, “If I were you, I’d be really upset and it would make me nuts. What do you think you should do about it?” When you do that, they feel you’re not judging or disagreeing with them but instead are validating what they’re feeling — without telling them whether you believe them or not — and then moving them toward solutions.

Here’s a taste of it. If I were you, reading this article, I might be saying to myself, “Yeah, many times when I’ve tried to be empathic, it didn’t work. So, I’ve stopped trying. But I need to do something because the situation with a person is getting worse. Oh, well, maybe validating what they’re going through in the way you suggested might work.” Why not give it a try?

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What Are Dark Empaths: The People With High Empathy But Dark Traits

Many psychologists have dedicated their careers to studying the so-called “dark triad”, a mix of maladaptive personality traits like narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. The textbook description of a dark triad individual is manipulative, exploitative, often charming, and constantly seeking admiration, validation, and special favors from others.

Most defining of their personality is that they do so in a callous way with little consideration for others, lacking remorse. But then there are also dark empaths. According to a new study, these people display the dark triad traits to a degree except they actually have the capacity for empathy — and that may make them much more dangerous.

Psychologists Paul Ekman and Daniel Goleman, the foremost emotional intelligence ‘gurus’, have outlined three distinct types of empathy. Cognitive empathy is the ability to recognize someone’s perspective and thoughts without being actively emotionally involved. It’s an intellectual acknowledgment of the other person’s emotional state; you know what they think and why they might feel the way they do.

Emotional empathy, or affective empathy, refers to going through the same emotions someone else is feeling as though you were the one going through their experiences. If you feel sad and then my state changes and I feel sad too, that’s affective empathy at play. And then there’s compassionate empathy, which is a combination of the former two.

Some people lack any of these, a hallmark of clinical psychopathy. This explains why psychopaths often engage in violent behavior, sometimes physical violence. But there are also dark triad people with average or even above average empathy, which allows them to be even more capable manipulators. If you want to manipulate someone, it helps to understand them at an emotional level and then use that against them.

In their new study, psychologists Nadja Heym and Alexander Sumich from Nottingham Trent University asked almost 1,000 people to complete a series of questionnaires that measured dark triad traits and empathy. The researchers found patterns in the replies that separated the participants into four groups.

The traditional dark triad group with low empathy scores comprised about 13% of the sample, which was expected. People with lower to average levels of all traits (empathy but also narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) comprised 34% of the participants — these were the “typicals”. About 33% of the sample had low dark triad traits and high empathy, the “empaths”.

But much to the researchers’ surprise, about 20% of the participants scored high on both dark triad traits and empathy. In fact, this latter group scored higher on both cognitive and affective empathy than the typicals.

The dark empaths were not as aggressive as the traditional dark triad group. That makes sense since they’re less likely to hurt other people if they feel guilty doing so. However, the dark empaths nevertheless were more aggressive than typicals and empaths, in the sense that they were more inclined to inflict emotional harm or manipulate people through social exclusion, malicious humor, and guilt-induction.

Dark empaths display a form of soft aggression, one that can still be dangerous in combination with their other traits.For instance, dark empaths were the most extroverted out of all groups. Their heightened empathy likely helps them to connect with others and be social. But the researchers add that they may be secretly motivated by a desire to dominate others.

“Though the aggression reported by the dark empaths was not as high as the traditional dark triad group, the danger of this personality profile is that their empathy, and likely resulting social skills, make their darkness harder to spot,” Heym and Sumich wrote in an article for The Conversation.

“We believe that dark empaths have the capacity to be callous and ruthless, but are able to limit such aggression.”

The findings appeared in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Tibi Puiu

By: Tibi Puiu

Source: What are dark empaths: the people with high empathy but dark traits

.

Critics:

One of the most common characteristic trait out of all dark empath traits is an open behaviour. They are usually extroverts who have an abundance of social skills and hence, never tend to shy away from expressing their thoughts, views or even their perspective of Someone

They are not the type of people who can easily be pushed over instead, the presence of dark traits can make it the other way around. It is also noticed that instead of normal empathy as we have come to know of it, these people experience what is called cognitive empathy.

In simple terms, they are able to understand someone’s emotional state very well but instead of connecting with them like normal empaths they generally tend to exploit it. Now given the fact this is a pretty basic characteristic Trait which means it doesn’t necessarily mean that a person who is an extrovert must be a dark empath too. A person must at least have 3 or 4 traits from this list to qualify as a dark empath.

Most people enjoy and want power, what’s different here? Sure. But at the same time hunger for power (went a little more dramatic than required) is something that majorly dominates the key characteristic Traits of traditional dark triads.

They have a need for power and usually have a huge liking towards being the leader all the time. What sets dark empath from the classic dark triads is the fact that even though dark empaths wants power, he/she enjoy a rather participatory leadership.

As Interesting as it may sound, not everything is negative about this personality type. On the very contrary these people are found to have remarkable talents in certain aspects of life. They don’t give up on their goal, and have the ability to make quick decisions hence they are proven to be great leaders, they understand people well and therefore don’t have difficulties in connecting with them.

This does not in any ways mean they are perfect because talent and perfection certainly are two different things.

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More contents:

The Dark Cube: dark character profiles and OCEAN

Relationship between the Dark Triad and depressive symptoms

Predicting career success: is the dark side of personality worth considering?

Socioeconomic Disadvantage Ups Death Risk in the Cancer Population

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How Can We Make More Empathetic Technology?

According to Merriam-Webster, empathy is defined as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.”

There are three types of empathy: cognitive, where you take on the viewpoint of another person; emotional, where you are able to feel for the other person; and compassionate, which is a mix of the two. Empathy can be expressed via body language, too. An often-overlooked fourth category of empathy is motor empathy, where one repeatedly mirrors another’s actions.

Empathy is a vital part of our society, and many global organizations tout the importance of empathy when it comes to being an effective leader.

Source: How Can We Make More Empathetic Technology?

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Diet Culture: Will We Ever Stop Obsessing About Our Weight?

It’s a secret shame that countless women feel, but only rarely admit to. “Am I betraying my feminist self by believing I don’t look good in clothes until I lose weight?” a girlfriend texted me a few weeks ago, after agonizing about the fact that she is now a few kilos heavier than she usually is. “I feel like shit about this. I would die if I had a girl and she said that to me.”I feel the same. My friend only told me this (I’m fairly certain) because I’d previously confided in her my own squirmy thoughts about my weight. Like the shame I feel about having wasted years tallying how much dessert I’ll let myself have or how I feel about myself according to how tight my jeans’ waistband is on any given day.

How is this possible, I’ve long wondered, when I’m intelligent enough to know that my culture has brainwashed me into wanting to look thin? And when I know that spending that time on literally anything else would enrich my life, instead of mentally strangling it?

“It’s super common … and a huge part of the difficulty that some people can have psychologically because they feel it’s mutually exclusive,” says Melbourne-based clinical psychologist Stephanie Tan-Kristanto, who has helped many people work through these feelings. “[They think] ‘I must be really terrible, or a bad person because I’m having these thoughts, and I shouldn’t be having these thoughts because I’m too intelligent to be worrying about body image issues’.”

It is an under-acknowledged water-dripping discomfort that many women – and to a lesser extent, men – experience. Because while the destructive nature of eating disorders has long been studied, the embarrassment and shame that come from an unshakeable desire to have a smaller body – when it isn’t accompanied by disordered eating, obsessive exercising, an inability to focus on vocational studies or career, or other signs of a clinical disorder – has not.

If anything, these feelings are getting harder to battle, says Tan-Kristanto, as an increasing amount of celebrities are giving us the expectation that 50 or 60-year-olds can still look, respectively, 30 and 40.And the impact can be significant, and lifelong.

“I think it’s really bad for one’s self-esteem because I’m constantly saying to myself, ‘I’m not good enough, my body’s not good enough, my legs are too big, my stomach’s too flabby’,” says one friend of mine, a 47-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two who has been fighting these feelings for the last 35 years (since she was 12 and her parents told her she was “chubby”). Though she’s long been a healthy weight, and enjoys a wide variety of activities including surfing and dancing, she says: “I can see the amount of time I’ve wasted in my life dieting, and thinking about food so much and counting calories.”

They’re feelings Tan-Kristanto hears a lot from patients, particularly those who present with depression and anxiety. “The shame is a feeling that you are defective,” she says. But there’s a reason so many of us have these feelings: evolution.

“Our brains are hard-wired to be Velcro for negatives and Teflon for positives, so we’re naturally our own biggest critics, regardless of how intelligent or educated we are in many ways,” says Tan-Kristanto, a director of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association. “Our survival and ability to continue living and thriving as a species requires us to be more aware of the dangers in our life. So we need to look for the threats in our life to be able to survive and reproduce.”

In “caveman days” the risk was a sabre-tooth tiger. In modern times, it’s anything that can threaten our ability to fit in, get our next job and find a great partner.

“And all of those things are absolutely related to our weight, and humans being a social species, you know our survival and our thriving is in many ways related to how well we fit in cultures. Obviously the expectations of how we look or what we weigh varies across different cultures and different time periods. But it’s still a universal thing that our appearance and our weight is associated with society accepting us, and fitting into cultures.”

I’d always assumed this is something I’d inevitably age out of, especially once I hit my 60s or 70s.Turns out, not necessarily. “She was in her 80s,” says one woman I know, of a woman she knew who was in debilitating pain. It had become so bad that this elderly woman could barely walk. There was a remedy. A particular medication that would alleviate her pain and give her back the use of her legs. No dice. “It came with a possible two-kilo weight gain,” says the woman I know, explaining why the woman in her 80s rejected the treatment, citing her appearance.

Intense fear of gaining weight is just one indication, says Tan-Kristanto, that a person has moved away from a “somewhat helpful” focus on being healthy to “mal adaptive” behaviours that require psychological intervention. Others include: extreme dissatisfaction with body image, “really low self-esteem”, feeling depressed as a result of appearance, avoiding social situations that involve food, repetitive dieting, skipping meals or fasting and exercising even when injured.

As for the rest of us? We need to do our best to drop our shame. “You can be really intelligent and educated, and understanding of the pressures that society puts on you, and you can still struggle sometimes with body image,” says Tan-Kristanto. Accepting this, she says, frees us up to focus on other parts of our life.

“It helps us to be a little more understanding and compassionate, so we’re not fighting things as much, and not being as stuck or fused with those thoughts. It helps us to look at the bigger picture of things.” So does fighting the stigma of our feelings, by sharing them with friends. “I wouldn’t underestimate the value of [having a friend] say, ‘Thank god, it’s not just me’.”

Samantha Selinger-Morris

By:Samantha Selinger-Morris

Source: Diet culture: Will we ever stop obsessing about our weight?

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