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This Video Shows The Great Difference Between Empathy And Sympathy

This Video Shows The Great Difference Between Empathy And Sympathy

Researcher Dr. Brené Brown’s video on sympathy versus empathy provides a clear picture of what it feels like when we reach out to others in a time of despair, and they react to us. She points out that empathy and sympathy are two very different things, where empathy “fuels connection” and sympathy “drives disconnection.”

Through her fun and interesting cartoon, she illustrates that we need others to feel with us, as opposed to the ever popular idea of providing a silver lining.

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Often, we want to fix a situation in order to alleviate our own stress over the despairing individual’s emotions. This causes us to push away and invalidate their feelings. While this may stop their outward grieving, it drives disconnection and prevents healing. It causes an individual to stuff their true emotions and pretend they don’t exist, because they have now been shamed out of their reality.

As the video points out, empathy is the complete opposite. It requires four different elements:

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1. Perspective taking

Perspective taking means that we are able to experience their loss as if it happened to us. We are not analyzing it from an outward perspective, but feeling it as if it were our own.

2. Staying out of judgement

To refrain from judgement, we have to be able to see the situation through the lens of emotion, rather than the lens of logic. To empathize, we must realize that emotions are what they are, regardless of the “facts.” Even if we don’t agree with the actions, we can understand the feeling.

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3. Recognizing their emotions

To have the ability to recognize emotions, we need to be able to listen to what the grieving person is saying. If we jump right in without first understanding, we risk a disconnect where the upset individual will not feel recognized and understood.

4. Communicating you understand

Once you feel like you have a good understanding, it’s important to be able to communicate that you see and hear them. Sometimes this is simply a hug, and other times it’s born from reflective communication, where you repeat back to them what you feel they are saying in your own words. This brings a sense of relief, as they no longer feel alone.

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As the video states, empathy is feeling with people. “Because the truth is, rarely can a response make something better. What makes something better, is connection.”

Featured photo credit: RSA Shorts via youtu.be

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

Reference

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