I feel for you
Empathy is a wonderful thing and can be a little confusing at times.
Not having the easiest route with my superior behind me following my mental destabilisation at the beginning of this year I still would have not wished what happened today on my worst enemy. Having all that you have so painfully built up ripped from under your feet is daunting, leaving pain and a path of destruction behind you. Despite all that has happened in the past I really feel for her and I am really sorry it turned out the way it did. How do you help someone in that situation?
Empathy and sympathy are often used synonymously. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another (sometimes actually feeling them), whereas sympathy means feeling pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune (feeling sorry for and caring about the other).
At the moment I feel both. I would like to help and despite being directly affected by this change myself it does not bother me so far. I am more entangled in her feelings and the need to comfort her. Facing the awkward question how? Where are the boundaries?
I really feel you
At school, I used to feel the fear of the pupil holding the essay in front of the whole class. My hands would start sweating, I would start shaking too and I would be a bag of nerves as well. I see it as a gift that I can tell how people feel without having them breathe a word. Funnily the uncomfortable feelings are the most emphasised. I believe that has to do with the fact that humans focus mostly on the bad and not the good. Very rarely do we have a massive discussion about the good things. If you take a look at a conversation about sport or the weather the negative rant gets more airtime than the positive ones. So for me, it is logical that the negative emotions are more amplified than the good.
Empathy is a two-sided medal. The positive aspects are it makes you a more caring and compassionate person. A trusted confidant but also a good friend that is valued for their refined, composed and reflected problem-solving skills. Empathic people are perceived as more sympathetic and likeable. Forming closer bonds. On the other hand, you have the scientifically proven fact that empathic people tend to be more revengeful as they will quite clearly liaise with the victim or the underdog, which leads to vigilantism. Being empathic can also lead to cutting yourself short by always saying yes and wanting to please everybody. Empathy takes a lot of stamina and training you really need to set boundaries and stick to them to prevent being overwhelmed by the sentiments. Sympathy is a fusion of rational with the gut feeling that requires another sort of training. It commands analysing the situation, taking in the needs and then making a rational adequate decision.
When being empathic it is paramount for your own sanity to be able to say no and also to differentiate between your emotions and the experienced emotions of the other individual. It is nice when you get to the point of mastering the art of actively deciding to acknowledge and feel the sentiments of your vis-a-vis. Having the ability to switch them off when necessary. I find that empathy alone or sympathy does not make you a competent problem solver they may be two very different things but they both need each other.
Empathy and sympathy are often used synonymously. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, whereas sympathy means feeling pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.
A new culture to obtained
It would be wise to cultivate not just mindfulness towards yourself, as too much mindfulness can lead to pure egoism.
I am a firm believer in mindfulness towards yourself and others.
In terms of mindfulness, people like to obtain the selfish approach. I believe hedonism and mindfulness towards others would make our world a sooo much kinder and nicer place to leave in. So I go forth in being mindful, empathic and sympathetic towards the people in the world that surrounds me and in doing so guess what comes back? Exactly the same…
What you give you shall receive in ten folds