All About Empathy

Empathy is the experience of understanding another person's condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling. Empathy is known to increase prosocial (helping) behaviors. While American culture might be socializing people into becoming more individualistic rather than empathic, research has uncovered the existence of "mirror neurons," which react to emotions expressed by others and then reproduce them.

Recent posts on Empathy

Bad Listening Skills II: Responding to Grief and Loss

By Hank Davis on July 27, 2016 in Caveman Logic
What is it about death and loss that triggers the worst listening skills in most of us? No matter how deep your convictions are, you can't preach and listen at the same time.

Our Emotional Reactions to Terrorism

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on July 27, 2016 in Face It!
Here's how to untangle the confusing array of emotions we feel in the aftermath of terrorist attacks.

Gender Differences

We are all unique and don’t always fit neatly into the gender box.

Fighting Lung Cancer Stigmas Saves Lives

How reframing lung cancer can lead to earlier diagnoses, more knowledge about the disease and maybe, just maybe, a cure.

How to Help the Homeless

When a homeless person asks you for spare change, what should you do?

In Tragedy, There Is Hope

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on July 25, 2016 in Jacob's Staff
When faced with tragic loss, what lessons can we learn? Death is inevitable. Life presents challenges and opportunities for us to grow in wisdom. Hope <=> Gratitude + Empathy.

Compassion Fatigue in a Globalized Society

How can we stay informed about tragedy and suffering in the world around us, while also maintaining a caring perspective about others and a healthy life for ourselves?

The New Science of Empathic Accuracy Could Transform Society

Contrary to popular belief, new research shows that the ability to interpret other people's emotions accurately requires more cerebral thinking and less intuition.

Know Thyself

Knowing ourselves is no easy task.

Sitting Is the New Smoking and Mindfulness Is the New Black

The Aspen Brain Lab convenes experts on living life to its fullest

The Stanford Rape Case

By Guest Blogger on July 19, 2016 in The Guest Room
Let’s shift the conversation toward understanding the needs of survivors in their healing journey.

Stronger Drugs, Stronger Placebos

By Peter D Kramer on July 19, 2016 in In Practice
New research is elucidating the biological underpinnings of the placebo response. The results might enhance our appreciation of real—inherently effective—medications.

Family Discussions About Dysfunction: Use of Disclaimers

In discussing repetitive dysfunctional patterns with important family members in order to improve relationships, one helpful strategy is the use of certain introductory statements.

Empathy Makes All the Difference: Part 2

When we cultivate empathy, the part of us that tends to be judgmental diminishes and other people immediately sense the shift in our attitude.
Wikimedia Commons

Talking Instead of Texting Can Save Relationships

Be careful: Texting and your smart phone can be depriving you of conversation, empathy, and intimacy.

For People Who Are Angry With “The Other Side”

By Nancy Berns Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Freedom to Grieve
There is one thing we have in common: We are afraid. What have we become? And what can we do?

The Poison Tendrils of Negative Emotions

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Don't Delay
A recent research summary argues that negative emotions poison every aspect of successful self-regulation. Understanding this process is key to understanding procrastination.

What’s (Legally) Inside of a Dog?

New legal rulings are clarifying that animals are not the same as inanimate property such as a suitcase and that owners have strong obligations of proper care.
pixabay.org

Creating Fictional Worlds That Feel Real

By Laura Otis Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Rethinking Thought
When you read a novel, do you know what color hair each characters has?

Why We Still Love ‘Please Kill Me’

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Brick by Brick
In “Please Kill Me,” Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil have delivered to their readers one of the most important ingredients of effective therapy - unconditional positive regard

Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Shaped significantly by American traditions, interactions between neighbors, marked by reciprocity, speaking out, and live and let live, reflect the democracy of everyday life.

Want to Be Liked? Check Two Things Before Clicking SEND

Want people to like you when you correspond with them via email? Pay attention to these two factors. One or two moments of checking can have huge impact.

Honesty Isn't Enough

The intersection of authenticity and empathy: Sometimes too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

Thinking While Black

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on July 09, 2016 in Obesely Speaking
Racism and the brain-gut connection – a neuroscience perspective on racially motivated police violence towards Black Americans.

Bad Listening Skills: Unwanted "Empathy"

By Hank Davis on July 09, 2016 in Caveman Logic
There are lots of ways to be a bad listener. Many are well-intentioned and no different from what you learned from dear old mom and dad. It's time to upgrade your listening skills.

How to Become A More Empathic (and Less Defensive) Partner

Tension can quickly dissolve when we are sincerely willing try to empathize with the truth of our partner's feelings and perceptions.

The Importance of Being Moral

Perceptions of morality and competence matter. But which of these dimensions dominates?

Understanding Behavioral Therapy for Autism

Long-term planning for children with autism requires patience and diligence. Behavioral therapy, as time and labor-intensive as it seems, remains the foundation of skill building.

The Six Steps to Sacred Citizenship

By Ken Page L.C.S.W. on July 05, 2016 in Finding Love
According to Stephen Dinan, author of the Sacred America, there are six steps each of us can take that create world-change and personal joy. Here are those six steps:

Happy Couples Realize This Is Even More Important Than Love

Is your relationship beginning to lose its spark or even failing miserably? If the answer is yes, one or both of you is most likely lacking this.