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Why Too Much Empathy Can Actually Be Harmful

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https://www.thoughtco.com/the-difference-between-empathy-and-sympathy-4154381

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Why Too Much Empathy Can Actually Be Harmful
Empathy vs. sympathy—these two terms are often mixed up, but they actually express very different emotions.

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Sympathy vs. empathy

Sympathy vs. empathy

Although many people tend to confuse the notions of empathy and sympathy, these two are quite different.

While sympathy implies only the fact of feeling concerned about someone, emp...

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The three types of empathy

Empathy is the ability to share another person's emotions after having reached a good understanding of their suffering. There are three main types of empathy:

  • ...

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The threats of being emphatic

While empathy can make both you and the ones around feel better at times, there are also important dangers worth taking into account:

  • Empathy can often lead to unjustified ange...

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The Martyr Complex

Individuals who show signs of the Martyr Complex often act in a way that attracts misery. It is actually believed that they do this on purpose, in order to avoid personal responsibility o...

Recognizing the "Victim"

A Victim Complex sufferer is a person who has difficulties when dealing with trauma, in any shape that this can take

Among the most common traits, we can often find the refusal to accept responsibility when handling their issues, the difficulty to move on from a tragic situation or a tendency to be both pessimistic and critical when talking about others.

Suffering from the Victim Complex

Persons who suffer from the Victim Complex tend to manipulate their partners, in order to hide their own lack of responsibility and maturity. 

Therefore, it is very often that these relationships end up after having become extremely tenuous.

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Coping in uncertainty

Coping in uncertainty

Whether you are a manager, teacher, or physician, you are a leader in your organization or community. In times of distress, it can be difficult to know how to help others best and motivate them to ...

Coaching with compassion

In the face of uncertainty, it is natural to hold on to the status quo and stick to as-normal-as-possible routines and tasks. This can work when the context is predictable, and the goal is clearly defined.

However, during periods of volatility and stress, a taskmaster mode could be a mistake. The individual can feel pressured or obligated, which will make them negative. It is more important to prioritize your team's needs and create an environment of trust and support. It will unleash positive emotions, and the person is likely to feel more confident, hopeful, and willing to consider new ideas.

How to coach with compassion

We can follow six steps to help others, using the acronym “REACH”:

  • Resonance. Check in with each person without discussing a list of tasks. The goal is to create a supportive and positive relationship.
  • Empathy. Shift your concern from wanting to be understood to understanding others.
  • Awareness. Be aware of your mindset and emotions. Emotions are contagious.
  • Compassion. Try to focus on the needs of others and encourage caring and warmth to help another person in their development.
  • Hope. Spreading positive emotions will uplift others when you help them to picture a brighter and better future.
  • Humor. Stress shuts us down to new ideas and experiences. By keeping things light, you remind others to keep smiling. In turn, it will reduce stress and increase satisfaction, productivity, and performance.

Human Emotions

An emotion is an objective state that exhibits itself in many ways like behavior, facial expression, heart rate, blood pressure, and stress-hormone levels. Broadly speaking, we kn...

New Kinds of Emotions

  • Mix N match Emotions: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a newly coined mix of envy, fear, and sadness.
  • Social Emotions: Feelings like guilt, shame and embarrassment are social emotions, and can even be found in dogs.
  • Fear: Emotions like fear and anxiety are hard to pinpoint in the brain's geographical area, due to the presence of multiple fear circuits.

If our emotions are constructed by our minds, it means they can also be de-constructed or even reconstructed.

Labelling Emotions

The brain loves to identify, tag, or label all the feelings and emotions that are being experienced.

New studies show that changing the name of the emotion can change the feeling that is produced by hearing that emotion, and the brain may be able to create or make up emotions that don't have a label yet.