Why Paul Bloom Is Wrong About Empathy and Morality. Theconversation. Is it possible to run out of empathy? That’s the question many are asking in the wake of the U.S. presidential election. Thousands have marched on streets and airports to encourage others to expand their empathy for women, minorities and refugees. Others have argued that liberals lack empathy for the plight of rural Americans. Against this backdrop, some scholars have recently come out against empathy, saying that it is overhyped, unimportant and, worse, dangerous. They make this recommendation because empathy appears to be limited and biased in ethically problematic ways. As psychologists who study empathy, we disagree. Based on advances in the science of empathy, we suggest that limits on empathy are more apparent than real. The ‘dark side’ of empathy Over the past several years, a number of scholars, including psychologists and philosophers, have made arguments that empathy is morally problematic.
Such views are echoed by other scholars as well. Are there limits? Empathy is a choice. Three Kinds of Empathy: Cognitive, Emotional, Compassionate. Being cool in crisis seems essential for our being able to think clearly. But what if keeping cool makes you too cold to care? In other words, must we sacrifice empathy to stay calm? That’s the dilemma facing those who are preparing top teams to handle the next Katrina-like catastrophe we might face. Which gets me to Paul Ekman, a world expert on emotions and our ability to read and respond to them in others. Paul and I had a long conversation recently, in which he described three very different ways to sense another person’s feelings. The first is “cognitive empathy,” simply knowing how the other person feels and what they might be thinking. But there can be a dark side to this sort of empathy – in fact, those who fall within the “Dark Triad” – narcissists, Machiavellians, and sociopaths (see Chapter 8 in Social Intelligence) – can be talented in this regard, while having no sympathy whatever for their victims.
Richard Restak: A Simple Exercise To Read The Emotions of Others. One of Charles Darwin’s less famous works, his The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, released in 1872, kicked off the idea that emotions carry distinct facial expressions. We read these emotions naturally, from birth, all the time — it’s part of our innate wiring, and how to relate to and understand others. But we can learn to read them better with some practice. One of the complicating factors in learning to read the emotions of other people is that we’ve been taught from a young age to conceal all emotions. We shouldn’t talk about them, display them, or feel them. Reading humans is a lot trickier than any other species, because we can conceal, confuse, hide. As a result of this, offers Richard Restak in Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your Brain’s Potential, “[T]he reading of other people’s emotions from their facial expressions is a subtle and arcane art that not everyone learns successfully.”
Start by grabbing a trusted and interested friend. How Empathy Makes People More Violent. I’m not usually in favor of killing, but I’d make an exception for the leaders of ISIS. I’d feel a certain satisfaction if they were wiped off the face of the Earth. This is a pretty typical attitude, shared even by many of my more liberal friends, even though, intellectually, it’s not something that we’re comfortable with or proud of. Where does this malice come from? Psychologists have standard explanations for murderous feelings towards groups of strangers, but none of them apply here. I don’t think ISIS is a threat to me or my family or my way of life; I’m not driven by disgust and contempt; I don’t dehumanize them; I don’t think of them as vermin or dogs. Rather, I am motivated by more respectable sentiments, by compassion, love, and empathy. You can see this process at work in research published last year by the psychologists Anneke Buffone and Michael Poulin.
Politicians are comfortable exploiting this dark side of empathy. There is a history of this sort of thing. Six Habits of Highly Empathic People. If you think you’re hearing the word “empathy” everywhere, you’re right. It’s now on the lips of scientists and business leaders, education experts and political activists. But there is a vital question that few people ask: How can I expand my own empathic potential? Empathy is not just a way to extend the boundaries of your moral universe. According to new research, it’s a habit we can cultivate to improve the quality of our own lives. But what is empathy? The big buzz about empathy stems from a revolutionary shift in the science of how we understand human nature.
Over the last decade, neuroscientists have identified a 10-section “empathy circuit” in our brains which, if damaged, can curtail our ability to understand what other people are feeling. But empathy doesn’t stop developing in childhood. Habit 1: Cultivate curiosity about strangers Highly empathic people (HEPs) have an insatiable curiosity about strangers. Habit 2: Challenge prejudices and discover commonalities. Teaching Empathy To Children - The Danish Way of Parenting. The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence - Adam Grant. Some of the greatest moments in human history were fueled by emotional intelligence.
When Martin Luther King, Jr. presented his dream, he chose language that would stir the hearts of his audience. “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation” to liberty, King thundered, “America has given the Negro people a bad check.” He promised that a land “sweltering with the heat of oppression” could be “transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice,” and envisioned a future in which “on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” Delivering this electrifying message required emotional intelligence—the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions. Recognizing the power of emotions, another one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century spent years studying the emotional effects of his body language.
Leaders who master emotions can rob us of our capacities to reason. New Study Links Social Anxiety To Being An Empath. Written by Amateo Ra| Have you ever felt anxious being around other people? For some, the feelings of social anxiety can be so intense that someone can feel totally paralyzed just to be out in public. Could social anxiety’s hidden link to empathy give us a greater understanding into the lives of those affected?
Social anxiety can often be an extremely confusing, challenging and even interesting experience for many. Fear is the primary feeling generally attributed to social anxiety, and those who experience it often can’t seem to discover the origin of the social anxiety within themselves. All logic can seem to fail in the face of social anxiety. A new Scientific Study recently released published on PubMed shows that people with social phobias and anxieties are hypersensitive to other peoples states of mind. This helps shed major light on the subject, finding a hidden link between social anxiety and being an Empath. So in all, if you are an Empath with Social Anxiety, you’re not crazy! Signs That You Lack Emotional Intelligence.
Executive Summary Often, emotional intelligence is the key differentiator between a star performer and the rest of the pack, yet many never embrace the skill for themselves. Do you think being liked at work is overrated? Are you surprised when others are offended by your comments, and do you feel like they’re overreacting? You might be lacking in emotional intelligence, but there are strategies to help you improve. A critical component of emotional intelligence is self-awareness, so get feedback to help you understand what your problematic behaviors are. Before you say something, think about how your words are going to impact others, and consider if that’s how you want them to feel. Regardless of your intended meaning, people may hear something else in what you say. In my ten years as an executive coach, I have never had someone raise his hand and declare that he needs to work on his emotional intelligence. So what do you do if you recognized yourself in this list? 1. 2. 3. 4.
Empathic people are natural targets for sociopaths - protect yourself -- Science of the Spirit. © Fotolia Olly The empathy trap: therapists and counselors almost by definition are empathic, to facilitate clients' recovery - but this quality can mean those carers are targets for sociopaths, aided by what Dr Jane & Tim McGregor call "apaths".
The first UK article on this cruel sport shows how to identify and thus avoid it. People targeted by a sociopath often respond with self-deprecating comments like "I was stupid", "what was I thinking" of "I should've listened to my gut instinct". But being involved with a sociopath is like being brainwashed. The sociopath's superficial charm is usually the means by which s/he conditions people. On initial contact, a sociopath will often test other people's empathy, so questions geared towards discovering if you are highly empathic or not should ring alarm bells. Sociopaths make up 25% of the prison population, committing over twice as many aggressive acts as other criminals. But not all sociopaths are found in prison. Everyday sociopaths © unknown. Six Habits of Highly Empathic People.
5 Strategies to Read People’s Emotional Energy. Emotions are a stunning expression of our energy, the “vibe” we give off. We register these with intuition. Some people feel good to be around; they improve your mood and vitality. Others are draining; you instinctively want to get away. This “subtle energy” can be felt inches or feet from the body, though it‘s invisible. Indigenous cultures honour this energy as life force.
In Chinese medicine it‘s called chi, a vitality that‘s essential to health. Emotional energy is contagious. When reading emotions, realize that what others say or how they appear frequently don‘t match their energy. Here, the surrender to focus on is saying “yes” to the messages your body sends. Strategies to read emotional energy Sense people’s presence - This is the overall energy we emit, not necessarily congruent with words or behaviour.
As you read people notice: does their overall energy feel warm? Watch people’s eyes – We can make love or hate with our eyes. Take time to observe people‘s eyes. 30 traits of an Empath (How to know if you're an Empath) By: Christel Broederlow What is an empath? Being an empath is when you are affected by other people’s energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions. Empaths can perceive physical sensitivities and spiritual urges, as well as just knowing the motivations and intentions of other people. You either are an empath or you aren’t.
Empaths are often quiet achievers. However, they can be the exact opposite: reclusive and apparently unresponsive at the best of times. Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them. Empaths are more inclined to pick up another’s feelings and project it back without realizing its origin in the first place.
Empaths are sensitive to TV, videos, movies, news and broadcasts. Here are the listeners of life. 1. Thandie Newton: Embracing otherness, embracing myself. Bill and Melinda Gates' 2014 Stanford Commencement Address. Scientists prove it really is a thin line between love and hate - Science - News. Scientists studying the physical nature of hate have found that some of the nervous circuits in the brain responsible for it are the same as those that are used during the feeling of romantic love – although love and hate appear to be polar opposites. A study using a brain scanner to investigate the neural circuits that become active when people look at a photograph of someone they say they hate has found that the "hate circuit" shares something in common with the love circuit.
The findings could explain why both hate and romantic love can result in similar acts of extreme behaviour – both heroic and evil – said Professor Semir Zeki of University College London, who led the study published in the on-line journal PloS ONE. "Hate is often considered to be an evil passion that should, in a better world, be tamed, controlled and eradicated. Yet to the biologist, hate is a passion that is of equal interest to love," Professor Zeki said. Why Do We "Otherize?" The empathy deficit.
Young Americans today live in a world of endless connections and up-to-the-minute information on one another, constantly updating friends, loved ones, and total strangers — “Quiz tomorrow...gotta study!” — about the minutiae of their young, wired lives. And there are signs that Generation Wi-Fi is also interested in connecting with people, like, face-to-face, in person. The percentage of high school seniors who volunteer has been rising for two decades. But new research suggests that behind all this communication and connectedness, something is missing. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, found that college students today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were in 1979, with the steepest decline coming in the last 10 years.
According to the findings, today’s students are generally less likely to describe themselves as “soft-hearted” or to have “tender, concerned feelings” for others. Such studies have obvious flaws. When Power Goes To Your Head, It May Shut Out Your Heart. Neuroscientists have found evidence to suggest feeling powerful dampens a part of our brain that helps with empathy. Vladgrin/istockphoto.com hide caption toggle caption Vladgrin/istockphoto.com Neuroscientists have found evidence to suggest feeling powerful dampens a part of our brain that helps with empathy. Vladgrin/istockphoto.com Even the smallest dose of power can change a person. You've probably seen it. So here's a question that may seem too simple: Why? If you ask a psychologist, he or she may tell you that the powerful are simply too busy. But if you ask Sukhvinder Obhi, a neuroscientist at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, he might give you another explanation: Power fundamentally changes how the brain operates.
Obhi and his colleagues, Jeremy Hogeveen and Michael Inzlicht, have a new study showing evidence to support that claim. Obhi and his fellow researchers randomly put participants in the mindset of feeling either powerful or powerless. Where Empathy Begins. Are You Suffering From Empathy Deficit Disorder? It's possible that you're among the large number of people who suffer from EDD. No, that isn't a typo -- I don't mean ADD or ED. It's EDD, which stands for " Empathy Deficit Disorder. " I made it up, so you won't find it listed in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Normal variations of mood and temperament are increasingly redefined as new "disorders," so I'm hesitant to suggest a new one. But this one's real, and it's becoming more pronounced in today's world. I've identified it from my decades of experience as a business psychologist, psychotherapist and researcher into adult development.
First, some explanation of what I mean by EDD: When you suffer from it you're unable to step outside yourself and tune in to what other people experience, especially those who feel, think and believe differently from yourself. These may sound like extreme examples, but I hear variations of those themes all the time. Empathy vs. Zero Degrees of Empathy. The Moral Molecule. Mirrorbox: The Story of How Art Became Science. Mirror Neurons. Empathy Circles - Lidewij Niezink, PhD. Empathy Library.
RSA Animate - The Power of Outrospection. RSA Shorts - The Power of Empathy. RSA Animate - The Empathic Civilisation. Jeremy Rifkin: 'Empathic Civilization': When Both Faith And Reason Fail, Stepping Up To The Age of Empathy. What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong? Empathy Is Actually a Choice.