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The Driving Force of Free Markets Is Empathy, Not Greed

Both capitalists and anti-capitalists frequently accuse capitalism of being a system driven by selfishness and greed. Capitalism’s defenders sometimes say: “By nature, man is selfish, which is why socialism will never work. Capitalism better reflects the fundamental characteristics of human nature.” Anti-capitalists claim that capitalism promotes the worst characteristics in man, especially greed.

But are greed and unbridled selfishness really the driving forces of capitalism? Human self-interest is one—not the only—driving force of all human action. But this has nothing to do with a particular economic system. Rather, it is an anthropological constant. In capitalism, however, this self-interest is curbed by the fact that only the entrepreneur who prioritizes other people’s needs can be successful.

There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that empathy, rather than greed, is the true driving force of capitalism. Empathy is the ability to recognize and understand another person’s feelings and motives, and this is the most important characteristic of successful entrepreneurs.

Take Steve Jobs as an example. He came up with the iPhone and other products because he understood modern consumers’ needs and desires better than anyone else. Under capitalism, consumers can (and do) punish companies that behave selfishly and lose sight of the needs of their customers.

The same applies to Mark Zuckerberg, today one of the world’s richest people. He created Facebook because he knew better than other entrepreneurs what people wanted. Like all successful entrepreneurs, it was consumers who made Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg so rich.For many years, the Albrecht brothers were the richest people in Germany. They earned their fortunes from the food discounter Aldi, which was founded on the principle of offering good quality products at very reasonable prices. This was the same recipe for success followed by Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, who was consistently one of the richest people in the United States.

Consumers’ purchasing decisions confirm that Jobs, Zuckerberg, the Albrecht brothers, and Sam Walton had correctly understood their customers’ desires, needs, and emotions.

Of course, under the capitalist system, there are also examples of companies that have acted selfishly and lost sight of the wants and needs of consumers.

One example is Deutsche Bank, which has faced thousands of lawsuits. Such companies are punished under capitalism, not only by the law but far more so by the market. Deutsche Bank lost its position as one of the world’s leading banks because it put the interests of its investment bankers above those of its customers and shareholders.

Even companies that appear omnipotent today, such as Google or Facebook, will not retain their power forever.

A company’s most important asset is its image, and companies that behave like Deutsche Bank end up incurring massive damage to their images and reputations; their customers lose confidence and flock to their competitors.

In socialist systems, on the other hand, consumers are powerless and at the mercy of state-owned companies. If a state enterprise acts with no regard for the needs of consumers, they have no alternative under socialism because there is no competition.

Under capitalism, consumers can (and do) punish companies that behave selfishly and lose sight of the needs of their customers. Every day, customers vote on the company with their wallets—by buying its products or not.

Monopolies under capitalism are a temporary phenomenon. Even companies that appear omnipotent will eventually be ousted by new competitors as soon as they overreach their power and lose sight of their customers’ needs.

Ever since capitalism has existed, anti-capitalists have criticized the system’s inherent tendency to create monopolies. Lenin wrote over 100 years ago that imperialism and monopoly capitalism are the last stages of capitalism. But the monopolies he criticized at the time no longer exist. Even companies that appear omnipotent today, such as Google or Facebook, will not retain their power forever. Other companies and ambitious young entrepreneurs will seize the opportunity as soon as Google or Facebook starts to act too selfishly.

What is strange is that socialists who criticize capitalism for its tendency to form monopolies are in favor of state-owned companies. After all, the state is the most powerful monopolist of all, with the ability to brutally trample on the needs and wishes of its citizens through its means of coercion and because there are no alternatives for the customer.

The fact that people and companies pursue their own interests is the same in every society. This is not a specific feature of capitalism.

Under capitalism, though, only those entrepreneurs and companies who prioritize their customers’ interests rather than their own self-interest will achieve success in the long-term. Companies that fail to understand and respect what consumers want will lose market share and may even disappear entirely as they are driven out by other companies that better meet their customers’ needs.

Empathy, the ability to recognize the desires and needs of others, is the true basis of capitalism—not unbridled greed and selfishness.

Source: The Driving Force of Free Markets Is Empathy, Not Greed

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Workplace diversity creates a business better suited to meet its goals. Through Eudaimonia and acceptance of differences, empathy is a path to business success. Matthew Gonnering is the CEO of Widen, a marketing technology company founded in 1948. Blessed to work with highly intelligent, playful, self-starting Wideneers, Matthew has reshaped his role into “Chief Eudaimonia Officer.” His mission is to create happiness, health and prosperity for his colleagues, customers and community. Matthew joined Widen in 2000 and became CEO in 2009. His team solves marketing and creative problems with digital asset management (DAM) software. Under Matthew’s leadership, Widen has become a WorldBlu Freedom-Centered Workplace™ and a Madison Magazine Best Place to Work. His ongoing commitment to faith, family, education, and nonprofit work shape his desire to ground organizational culture in humanity. Matthew and his beautiful wife Sarah have five energetic children and reside in the Madison area. He lives a eudaimonious life and encourages others to do the same. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

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Teach Your Kids to Value Empathy Over Tenacity

If you watched Coco Gauff’s third round loss in the US Open on Saturday, chances are you won’t remember the score or many details about the match itself; you’ll mostly remember how Naomi Osaka consoled the 15-year-old after her defeat.

And if you’re Osaka’s parent, you should be more proud of the kindness and empathy she showed than the big win she earned. Just two days before the sweet moment between the athletes, writer Anna Nordberg wrote for the Washington Post that parents put too much focus on their kids developing tenacity or grit and not enough focus on developing conscientious characteristics.

Clinical psychologist Lisa Damour tells Nordberg that what actually makes adults happy barely correlates with academic or professional success:

What it does correlate with is quality of relationships, a sense of purpose and feeling that you are good at what you do. “If you walk that back to look at what you can do as a parent, it’s raising conscientious kids,” Damour says. “When you’re conscientious, you tend to have better relationships, you’re caring, you’re not dishonest and you pursue things that have meaning to you.”

Maybe it seems obvious. Of course we want our kids to be good people. Of course we want them to be empathetic and kind and caring. We want our kids to work hard at their goals—even when things get tough—but we don’t want them to be the type of people who are more focused on their personal success than the feelings of those around them.

But apparently we’re not doing a very good job of getting that point across to our kids, at least not according to a 2014 study detailed in The Atlantic:

While 96 percent of parents say they want to raise ethical, caring children, and cite the development of moral character as “very important, if not essential,” 80 percent of the youths surveyed reported that their parents “are more concerned about achievement or happiness than caring for others.” Approximately the same percentage reported that their teachers prioritize student achievement over caring. Surveyed students were three times as likely to agree as disagree with the statement “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my class than if I’m a caring community member in class and school.”

So how can we not only value empathy but also encourage it? Well, we start by modeling it. Kids are more likely to do as we do, not do as we say. Let them see you shoveling the sidewalk for your elderly neighbor, volunteering at the local food bank and buying gifts for families in need during the holidays. And when you catch them being kind—praise, praise, praise.

But Nordberg also writes that we should actually create opportunities that “encourage empathy, collaboration and kindness rather than waiting for them to spontaneously happen.” We should be empathy enablers.

Enlist older kids to help with younger kids, whether it’s at home with siblings or at school as mentors or tutors. Involve them in your own problem-solving brainstorms. Clear off the kitchen table and spread out the thank-you card supplies so they’ll actually write the thank-you notes. Seek out moments in which you can encourage them to be kind, and they’ll build those empathetic muscles while also recognizing the value you place on those characteristics.

And then, one day, your kid might be the tennis star who consoles their opponent while the world watches and admires.

 

By: Meghan Moravcik Walbert

Source: Teach Your Kids to Value Empathy Over Tenacity

Empathy is a skill that parents can work to teach their children through encouragement and emotional development activities. In this episode of Mom Docs, Dr. Dehra Harris shares a few tips for parents to ensure children develop healthy emotional habits and empathy skills. Visit Children’s MomDocs (a blog by mom physicians at St Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine):
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Personalize The eLearning Experience Through A Culture Of Empathy

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How Empathy Can Enable A Personalized eLearning Experience: Having empathy and understanding what empathy is, means that you have the ability to see the world through the eyes of another and understand and share their feelings. Lots of people have the capacity to empathize. You could say it’s in our nature, allowing us to build prosperous relationships amongst various societies. To paraphrase Daniel H. Pink, successful people in this age of information overload will be those who can understand their peers and care for them. Empathy is the ability to step into another person’s shoes and experience their feelings. Empathy is not a standalone concept.

  1. The design should be from a user’s perspective to anticipate their problems and come up with a product/service that helps.
  2. Stories are the path to understanding.

Empathy In Learning

For learning to be empathetic, it has to understand the learners’ mindset, working environment, challenges and factor them in to offer a solution. It should build a personal connection with them.

This is how it can be done in eLearning:

  • Personalize the learning experience
  • Offer simple and open navigation
  • Reinforce knowledge with diagnostic feedback

Personalize The Learning Experience

This isn’t rocket science. Ask for the learner’s name at the start of the course and use it to address them periodically for the assessments, while sharing tips or summarizing the key points. This will build a connection between the learner and the course. Offering additional resources in multiple formats will give learners the flexibility of accessing the one in their preferred format. For example, do you need to offer a glossary of terms? Offer learners links to a PDF, a podcast, and an infographic. Use ice breakers that list learners’ common challenges or the questions they might have. Seeing their issues in the course will build an immediate rapport and give the assurance that their concerns are being addressed allaying fear.

Offer Simple And Open Navigation

Adults are self-directed and dislike being restricted in their learning. An effective eLearning course gives them the option to access the sections of the course they are interested in, instead of forcing them to go through the entire course. Put yourselves in the learners’ shoes and empathize. You surely wouldn’t want to look for a needle in a haystack!

Some tips to ensure a memorable learning experience:

  1. Structure the course into well-defined sections, each covering one learning point completely so that learners don’t have to scramble around different sections for one topic.
  2. Ensure navigation is easy to use, with a simple, well-labeled menu (learners shouldn’t need to access the Help screen to figure out how to use the menu).
  3. Ensure screen titles in the menu are of the same length and parallel in structure.
  4. For interactivities, let learners proceed to the next slide if they wish to without forcing them to visit all sections.
  5. Provide links to additional resources in the Resources section, rather than in individual slides, so that they are available throughout the course.

Reinforce Knowledge With Diagnostic Feedback

Feedback can be an extremely useful mechanism to close the learning cycle and show them the big picture, yet again. Instead of feedback that just says, “You are right” or “Sorry, you are wrong,” invest a little in offering feedback that’s true to its name. Feedback should tell learners why they are either right or wrong, along with the reasons. Informative assessments, give learners a detailed explanation about why a particular choice is correct or incorrect. In summative assessments, once done, give them the option of revisiting the slide where the learning point was discussed.

  • Authoring tools now give the flexibility of including audio, video clips, and hyperlinks along with the text.
  • Leverage these elements to offer learners a detailed explanation on the topic, along with related resources.

Being empathetic and having empathy matters. Learn about how to utilize the ability to step into another person’s shoes and experience their feelings by downloading this free eBook: “eLearning Design And The ‘Right’ Brain.” It will further help you become a ‘Right’ brain expert; and, moreover, learn how its role in learning can be of use to you.

Photo of Sushmitha Kolagani

 

By: Sushmitha Kolagani

 

Source: https://elearningindustry.com/

In a fractured world, can we hack our own sense of empathy and get others to become more empathic? Professor, Department of Psychology, Stanford University Jamil Zaki is an assistant professor of psychology at Stanford University. His research examines social cognition and behavior, especially how people understand and respond to each other’s emotions. This work spans a number of domains, social influence, prosocial behavior, and especially empathy (see ssnl.stanford.edu for details). In addition to studying the mechanics of empathy, Dr. Zaki’s work focuses on helping people empathize better. For instance, new research from his lab examines how to encourage empathy for people from distant political and ethnic groups, and also how caregivers and healthcare professionals can effectively empathize with their patients while maintaining their own well being. http://ssnl.stanford.edu ~~~ This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

The Power of Empathy in the Workplace

We’ve all had those moments of pure attention, when it seems everyone in the room is attracted to your energy. Yet for many of us, that place is difficult to tap into. Your mind races with nervousness about something previously said and you worry about what to say next, each distraction lessening the power of your interaction.

The key to success in these moments is empathy. This ability to understand and relate to others is a powerful skill that takes work, but in mastering it, you can better both your personal and professional interactions.

Related: Use these five elements of psychology to improve your writing.

The Power of Empathy

Empathy is about establishing trust by outwardly recognizing what someone else is experiencing. It’s difficult for people to fully engage in any interaction if they don’t feel that they are being heard and understood.

Think about how free and open your interactions are with close friends and family. Your conversations are super productive because you have each freed yourself to fully engage.

However, at work or in our other day-to-day interactions, we are naturally cautious. We withhold information, we don’t ask the tough questions, and it’s much harder to make decisions or resolve issues. That generally leads to subpar outcomes.

Four Steps for Practicing Empathy

1. Observe: Pay attention to voice, tone, body language, and the situation.
2. Listen: What feelings and emotions are being conveyed?
3. Interpret: What needs are behind those feelings and emotions?
4. Share: Openly state what you think you understand about the other person and ask for feedback to make sure you’re right.

Straightforward, right? Not exactly.

Why Listening is Scientifically a Struggle

Being a good empathizer is largely connected with being a good listener.

Chris Voss, former FBI negotiator and author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, explains that it’s a struggle to focus in attentive moments because listening is far from a passive activity. It is the most active thing you can do, and empathetic listening can power some of the most fundamental functions of your workplace.

If you struggle with listening, you are not alone. Renowned author and journalist Michael Pollan examined this difficulty in his recent book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence.

Pollan found that a major area of the brain known as the default mode network (DMN), which acts as an overseer keeping brain operations in check, is most likely the very operator that makes active listening so difficult.

How the DMN Works

The DMN is what kicks in when you have nothing to do. And it seems to be responsible for the construction of what we call the self or ego. It’s all that noise that comes pouring in when you’re in idle; the flood of thoughts about the past and future and myriad distractions that we often feel powerless to overcome. It can become who we are. It also leads to rumination and self-referential thinking, which is not conducive to empathy.

The DMN is powerful, but you are not powerless to resist it. Attention, focus, and active listening help quiet the ego, allowing you more effective listening.

Try this: Consistent meditation, even just 10 minutes a day, has been shown to decrease activity in the DMN, which then leads to better empathy.

Practicing Empathy in the Workplace

Empathy in the workplace is something I encourage the team at D Custom to actively practice. Here are some of the things it can power.

Empathy and Negotiating

While Voss’ FBI negotiations might not be the first place your mind goes in wondering where and how empathy might be better understood and applied, it is paramount in their field. As he notes, when preparing for a negotiation, it’s more important to concentrate on demeanor and state of mind rather than what you will say or do. This is empathy in all its glory.

Empathy and Trust

Empathy establishes trust, and establishing trust enables more productive working relationships. By practicing empathy in the workplace, you will expose goals and concerns more readily. And you cannot resolve issues until that comes from both sides.

Implementing empathy to build trust starts with recognizing people’s fears and validating them without passing judgment or offering a solution. If you do that in a consistent way as a team member or leader, you will get all manner of engagement from your team.

Empathy and Creativity

Empathy is about a genuine connection, and active listening is a gateway to thoughtful collaboration. Ideas come to light in a creative environment, and an attentive approach helps increase input so much that possibilities expand in a way they would not have otherwise.

Empathy can be a force for powerful relationships. From persuading groups to negotiating with terrorists to growing a fruitful community of coworkers, empathy emerges as an imminent provider of success. It’s wired into our psychology to the point that we can’t resist it. So be present and empathy will follow. From that, the possibilities are boundless.

By Paul Buckley

Source: The Power of Empathy in the Workplace | D Custom

 

Empathy Technologies Like VR, AR & Social Media Can Transform Education – Jennifer Carolan

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In The Better Angels of Our Nature, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker makes the case for reading as a “technology for perspective-taking” that has the capacity to not only evoke people’s empathy but also expand it. “The power of literacy,” as he argues “get[s] people in the habit of straying from their parochial vantage points” while “creating a hothouse for new ideas about moral values and the social order……..

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/22/empathy-technologies-like-vr-ar-and-social-media-can-transform-education/?_scpsug=crawled,5589,en_-08GtGMBhGHHyg2UGQFp

 

 

 

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Empathetic Listening Can Improve Health Care & Treatment Recommendations – Maggie Leung

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It is critical for physicians to respond appropriately with empathy to support families during a difficult time. Care conferences are discussions held between physicians and families to discuss medical treatment plans and decisions, and often involve high-stake decision-making, which can be emotionally stressing for the family. Past studies have found that physicians in the adult ICU setting do not commonly show empathy, and are often missing the opportunities to connect with families of the patient. However, this has not been well studied in the paediatric ICU setting……

Read more: https://www.medicalnewsbulletin.com/empathetic-listening-health-care-treatment/?_scpsug=crawled,5589,a595796b0106017107cbe36f9e8b6be20b1145e02188c642bf3d56958fa54748#_scpsug=crawled,5589,a595796b0106017107cbe36f9e8b6be20b1145e02188c642bf3d56958fa54748

 

 

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Why Qualitative Analytics Is Your Key Tool For User Empathy – Appsee

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Empathy. We’ve heard that word time and time again, but at the end of the day, it’s easy to forget about it. Even though you spend hours trying to get into your user’s head, when dealing with piles of usability dilemmas, performance problems, and other annoyances, empathy gets pushed to the bottom of our list. The reason is that empathy is a tricky term to define, and it’s hard to push it into a mold of an executable method for UX best practices. That’s where qualitative analytics comes in.

Why is empathy so important? It’s the key to creating a winning app through every step of the creative process, from ideation to release. Apps are meant to make people happier and/or improve their lives, so the concept behind an app is rooted in empathy. From there onwards, user experience design, UI, and retention are all improved when the team maintains empathy towards the users, walking a mile in their shoes.

You can’t feel empathy towards numbers.

Qualitative analytics adds a human face to the numbers and graphs of mobile app analytics. When looking at a graph showing an uptick or a downturn in user retention, how much can you really tell about your users? More importantly, can you really imagine their experience of using your app? Many mobile professionals have sat in front of computer screens, staring at graphs and trying to guess what made their users behave as they did. Traditional quantitative analytics can show you the numbers behind your users, such as the quit rate on a certain screen, but analytics need something more to help you understand why you’re seeing those numbers.

Why qualitative, why now?

App users are becoming more complicated. As smartphones become more and more popular across different ages, backgrounds, and locations, mobile analytics have to take more variables into account. The task of drawing conclusions from statistics is hard enough, and becomes even more difficult as more parameters — and more people — are added to the equation.

Qualitative analytics offers a solution that takes all the power of quantitative analytics and adds a human element: actually following users as they embark on their journey through an app. Empathy at its finest. Instead of relying on reviewers and beta testers, every member of the mobile app team can use qualitative analytics to see their app “in the wild”, and make sure that it’s running smoothly.

How does it work?

Qualitative analytics includes two main features that add a human, personal layer to mobile analytics. One is user session recordings, which show videos and step-by-step breakdowns of every user action, every gesture, and every tap a user makes. This makes it possible to walk alongside your users step by step as they explore your app. You see every interaction and response, and whenever your users get lost in the app, search for something that can’t be found, or expect the app to behave a certain way, you’ll be right there to observe and then try to understand why they did that.

The second is touch heatmaps, which aggregate all user gestures into graphics that remove all guesswork from the decision-making process, pointing to usability issues such as unresponsive gestures, navigation flaws, and unclear microcopy. Touch heatmaps give a more bird’s-eye point of view of your app’s usability and UI, and removes the need to draw conclusions from numbers alone.

Without qualitative analytics, you would be forced to look at graph upon graph of aggregated data, and guess your way into your user’s mind. Qualitative does away with the guesswork and makes it easy to put yourself in the user’s shoes, making empathy accessible and frustration-free. These highly visual, highly personal tools bridge the gap between the people behind the app and the people using it, enabling developers and designers to see their work in action and improve it quickly, efficiently, and without second-guessing their decisions.

Empathy should be a two-way street.

The good news that qualitative analytics bodes for companies is that empathy can go both ways. Qualitative analytics doesn’t just help increase empathy for the user, but also extends it to the entire team. A look at the various business and project management trends of the past few decades will show that we are constantly on the lookout for new ways to increase our productivity, efficiency, and teamwork, as well as the satisfaction we get from our work. Qualitative is more than just another productivity hack: it opens us up to a whole philosophy based on empathy, of focusing on our needs as well as the users’, and of understanding the deeper questions of why and how.

When used right, a qualitative analytics platform can make life easier for every single person working on the app, from the marketing intern and the junior developer just hired last week to the senior product manager and the founder and CEO. The abilities of qualitative analytics can be used not only by UX designers, but also by developers, marketers, and product managers. Devs can follow the steps a user took that led up to a crash. Marketers can follow up on in-app ads and how users interact with them. Product managers can get an all-encompassing look at their app’s usability, popularity, and growth. By adopting a qualitative analytics tool, all team members can gain insight into their day-to-day work, reducing guesswork and uncertainty, making better decisions faster, and reaping the fruits of the labor as they visually see their app improving.

A few more words

A lot has been said about empathy and UX, and now it is time for empathy to make its big breakthrough into the rest of the tech world. When we think and talk about our end users, our business partners, and our team, empathy can be the difference between a good app store review and a bad one, an energized team and a demoralized one, or a win-win situation and, well, the other thing. By helping you to understand your users with empathy, qualitative analytics will treat your team with empathy too, by reducing frustration, cutting down on hours spent on guesswork, and improving teamwork and communication.

 

 

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How the Mirror Neuron System Regulates Empathy – Angela Nino

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How do we understand others when we haven’t experienced what they’re going through? How are we able to share in the joy and sadness of those around us? Why do some people seem so adept at suspending personal judgment, seeing through the masks we wear to the authentic self?

Science believes they’ve discovered the part of our brains that makes this important human connection possible. Let’s take a look at what they’ve discovered.

What Is the Mirror Neuron System?

Scientists have found that each of us has a highly specialized group of brain cells called mirror neurons. Their role in the body is to learn about things by mimicking them. It’s how we each learned to speak, eat or do anything.

In terms of empathy, we learn how someone is feeling by reflecting the emotions that we see in others.

Sometimes this mirroring even takes on a physical shape. You may have noticed how a very empathic person tends to turn toward the person they’re connecting with. They put their devices down, giving their full attention.

They may even mimic body movements like facial expressions, crossed legs, posture or hand gestures without being consciously aware they’re doing it.

How the Mirror Neuron System Regulates Empathy

When someone with a very active mirror neuron system sees someone who’s grieving or nervous (fearful), for example, they can actually feel it too through this reflection process. They respond by trying to comfort the person feeling these uncomfortable emotions. In doing so, the person being comforted often begins to feel a little better.

As the subject of the empathy feels better, the empathic person feels better as well.

How the Mirror Neuron System Becomes Disrupted

At a very basic level, the brain works on an internal reward system. When we do things that our brain considers good for us like exercise, the brain releases endorphins (happiness hormones) into the body.

Research shows that when we use the mirror neuron system to show compassion, our brain releases these hormones. Not only does the empathic person feel better because the person they’re connecting with feels better, they feel good because their brain released endorphins into the body.

This system may become disrupted if in the past their compassion was met with distrust, fear or even negative consequences. This may have happened in their family home. It may have occurred during a long-term, abusive relationship. Or they may have worked in an unempathic work environment.

A person can learn to deactivate this part of their brain because of the negative external consequences for using it.

A person with a less active mirror neuron system might be referred to as emotionally “numb”. This “numbness” may even be encouraged in a company.

A manager may consciously or subconsciously reward people who appear “thick-skinned” and “unaffected” in respect to their work environment. They perceive this person as more productive. However, Research shows the opposite is true.

How the Mirror Neuron System Is Strengthened

It’s a nature versus nurture argument question. Studies show that around 50% of empathy is neurological while the other 50% is cultivated through the environment.

A person in a healthy, empathic work environment can strengthen this dormant part of the brain. Consistent positive re-enforcement is needed. Creating a safe place where people can express themselves is essential. An organization must demonstrate empathy throughout the leadership ranks to cultivate it.

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The Science Behind Empathy And Empaths | Empathy Magazine

As a psychiatrist and an empath, I am fascinated by how the phenomenon of empathy works. I feel passionately that empathy is the medicine the world needs right now.

Empathy is when we reach our hearts out to others and put ourselves in their shoes. However, being an empath goes even farther. Like many of my patients and myself, empaths are people who’re high on the empathic spectrum and actually feel what is happening in others in their own bodies.

As a result, empaths can have incredible compassion for people–but they often get exhausted from feeling “too much” unless they develop strategies to safeguard their sensitivities and develop healthy boundaries.

In my book, “The Empath’s Survival Guide” I discuss the following intriguing scientific explanations of empathy and empaths. These will help us more deeply understand the power of empathy so we can utilize and honor it in our lives.Read more…

Source: The Science Behind Empathy And Empaths | Empathy Magazine

 

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Self Empathy is Becoming Aware of Our Own Feelings First Than Others – BW Online Bureau

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There  is important element in the craft of conversation is Self Empathy. Over the past two decades a growing number of thinkers  have suggested that extending empathy towards other people, particularly in conversations, requires a degree of self empathy. If we cannot empathise with ourselves they believe, we will lack the psychological foundations necessary to contact with others.

Advocates of self empathy typically describe it as becoming aware of our own feelings and needs, and not constantly beating ourselves up and judging ourselves too harshly (e.g. not blaming ourselves, feeling guilty, or being consumed by a sense of failure). In some fundamental way, self empathy is about being good to yourself and liking who you are.

Despite its increasing popularity, I am skeptical about the notion of self empathy. One reason is that it strikes me as conceptually flawed. The central meaning of empathy for more than a century, has been about breaking out of the boundaries of the self, and comprehending the feelings and perspectives of other people.  It is about looking through their eyes rather then staring into your inner self – that is, empathy concerns outrospection rather than introspection.

A second reason is that it makes the meaning of empathy too broad and indistinct. Once empathy becomes associated with the whole gamut of ways in which we think about our own self worth and internal emotional landscape, there is a danger that it looses its analytical byte and potential as a clear guiding concept for individual and social transformation.

Just as we believe the word empathy should not be simply equated with acts of kindness and every day generosity, and it should also not be watered down to cover the various aspects of what has been described as self empathy.

But this is not to say that how we feel about ourselves is unimportant for our ability to bond emphatically with others. It is just that we need another word. What are the contenders? One is self compassion a term that like self empathy has emerged since the 1990 as a product of our individualist culture, but that may have firmer conceptual foundations.

Drying on Buddhist notion of compassion, psychologist Kristin Neff defines self compassion as having three components; self kindness – being kind and understanding towards oneself in instances of pain or failure rather than being harshly self critical; common humanity – perceiving once experiences as part of the larger human experience rather than seeing them as separating and isolating; and  mindfulness – holding painful thoughts and feeling in balanced awareness rather than over identifying with them.

As with self empathy, however, we find self compassion a some what confusing idea, because the linguist origin of compassion is to share in the suffering of another person. The second component of Neff’s definition touches on other people suffering but not the first or third.

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