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I Don't Feel Your Pain: Overcoming Roadblocks to Empathy

I Don't Feel Your Pain: Overcoming Roadblocks to Empathy | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
Why empathy is import at home and work and how to be better at it.

 

Neuroscientists have recently discovered that humans are wired to experience empathy through multiple systems of mirror neurons in our brains. These mirror neurons reflect back actions that we observe in others causing us to mimic that action in our own brains.  When we observe someone in pain or when we are with someone happy, we experience that to a certain extent. These mirror neurons are the primary physiological basis of empathy. They create a neural Wi-Fi that connects us to the feelings of people around us. 

 

Many people seem to be naturally empathetic. Others are not.  The good news is that research shows that empathy can be learned. There are however a few potential roadblocks to empathy that must be overcome.

 

by David F. Swink


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Did you know that those who negotiate with hostage-takers are trained to "fake" empathy?  Read more to see what happens!

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Barbara Kerr's curator insight, March 10, 2013 11:55 AM

Did you know that the training for negotiating with hostage-takers includes "faking" empathy--and that those being trained actually come to feel some empathy for someone they despise?  Good article about how we can learn to develop our empathy for improved relationships.

The Writing Goddess's curator insight, March 12, 2013 7:01 AM

add your insight...

Garth Sanginiti's curator insight, August 1, 2013 6:57 PM

Empathy is a key skill to dealing and interacting with people in a manner that produces positive outcome and builds healthy relationships.  The article does a good job explaining what emphathy is, as well as giving some tips to improve in this area.  It also includes facts to support the assertion that empathy matters at work, "Empathy is also important in the workplace. A study conducted by the Center for Creatively Leadership investigated 6,731 leaders from 38 countries. Their results reveal that empathy is positively related to job performance. The study concluded that managers who show more empathy toward direct reports are viewed as better performers in their job by their bosses."

Compassion and Empathy
Empathy--the ability to place yourself in another's shoes--may be the key to creating a more compassionate and peaceful world.
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Mangere College students take stance on family violence - Scoop.co.nz (press release)

Mangere College students take stance on family violence - Scoop.co.nz (press release) | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
Mangere College students take stance on family violence
Scoop.co.nz (press release)
“We want to make a difference in our community and spread awareness of how others can be part of the solution to this issue, which affects every community.
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Acts of compassion--working to end family violence. 

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Mother opens program for disabled adults - The Daily News Journal

Mother opens program for disabled adults - The Daily News Journal | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
Mother opens program for disabled adults
The Daily News Journal
Possibility Place will focus on helping participants learn interpersonal skills to build and maintain productive relationships.
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Compassion finds a way to help an often ignored population within the community.

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The role of empathy in peace negotiations

The role of empathy in peace negotiations | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

I am raising the subject mainly because the idea of empathy needs to be more embedded than ever as we negotiate a very difficult peace process. The negotiations no longer exist in theory; they have become a reality. I am still aware of a lack of empathy among some of the stakeholders in the negotiations.


Empathy is about getting to the heart of the problem.


It is associated with a willingness to reach a negotiated settlement, which is in turn associated with the possible cost of a failure to achieve an agreement. 


Aung Naing Oo is the associate director, Peace Dialogue Program, Myanmar Peace Center.



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Poem: Empathy by George Eliot

Poem: Empathy by George Eliot | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

Empathy

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible
Comfort of feeling safe with a person,
Having neither to weight thoughts,
Nor measure words--but pouring them
All right out--just as they are
Chaff and grain together,
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them,
Keep what is worth keeping,
And with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.

 

 Author: George Eliot (English novelist)
image http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Eliot ;


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Wise woman of the 19th century--

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Sowing Empathy and Justice in Schools Through Restorative Practices | NEA Today

Sowing Empathy and Justice in Schools Through Restorative Practices | NEA Today | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

The biggest thing we do is create empathy, and the way you get empathy is by talking about how you feel and by listening to how others feel,”


says Danna. “I tell them that you have to understand each other’s perspectives.


It doesn’t mean you have to be friends. But you do have to figure out how to get through your day together. It’s a very assertive way of teaching them to take care of themselves.”


By Mary Ellen Flannery 


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Listening--a powerful tool we can  all learn  to understand each other. 

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Compassion Fatigue and the Importance of Self Care

Compassion Fatigue and the Importance of Self Care | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
My recent return from a mini vacation provided unwavering clarity to the importance of self care. I relaxed, soaked in the sun, and totally decompressed. I was able to reboot and recharge!  Over th...
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Self-care may be especially important for those in the helping professions, but we can all  benefit by taking care of ourselves. 

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Empathy Conference October 16–17, 2015 Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience - Flint, Michigan

Empathy Conference October 16–17, 2015 Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience - Flint, Michigan | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

The theme should be interpreted broadly. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

What is empathy? It is a cognitive process? an emotion? an attitude?Is empathy a natural condition/capacity or a social condition/capacity?Is it possible to verify that a person is empathetic or is feeling empathy?Do mirror neurons provide insight into how empathy is experienced or the role it plays in our treatment of and attitudes about others? How useful is studying mirror neurons for understanding empathy?Is there a clear difference between affective and cognitive empathy?What exactly is Theory of Mind? What exactly do Sally-Anne test results show? Is having a compromised Theory of Mind (if that is possible) relevant to one’s ability to be empathetic?At what age do people develop the capacity to be empathetic? In what way, if at all, does developing empathy facilitate other cognitive and emotional processes or abilities?Can we teach people to be more empathetic? If so, how?What social conditions foster or damage empathy?Does society have an obligation to ensure conditions are met so that people can most successfully develop a capacity to be empathetic? If so, what would that mean?What are the consequences of lacking empathy?What is the connection between being moral or ethical and having empathy? Is empathy a necessary condition, sufficient condition, or only incidentally relevant to morality/ethics? Can empathy impede or prevent a person from acting morally or ethically?Can empathy cause immoral or unethical behavior? If so, how or when?If non-humans are capable of experiencing empathy, does that imply that non-humans are capable of morality? Why or why not?Are humans the only beings capable of empathy? What evidence is relevant to that claim?If humans are incapable of feeling empathy, does that mean they are incapable of being morally good or ethical?


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Many great questions to ponder on the topic of empathy. 

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What Forgiving—And Being Forgiven—Mean for Your Health

What Forgiving—And Being Forgiven—Mean for Your Health | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
Going too hard on yourself? It has been shown that the inability to self-forgive can weaken your immune system or trigger depression and anxiety. Looking to forget the drama and move on? Two new studies shed light on the concept of forgiveness and how it impacts our emotional and physical health.A new study out of [...]
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Study: Plucky females most compassionate

Study: Plucky females most compassionate | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

You are more likely to be compassionate toward strangers and enjoy helping them if you are female, have suffered a recent loss or are plucky, according to a study by researchers at the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine.

 

"We want to foster compassion because
helping others improves your quality of life,
physically and emotionally, too, and can help
you be less isolated and lonely,"

 

said Lisa Eyler, Ph.D., co-author of the study and professor of psychiatry at the university. "But first we want to identify who is more likely and less likely to be compassionate."

 

By Leslie Mann


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Can being  more compassionate make you less lonely?

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What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Compassion

What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Compassion | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

Being mindful can help us become more compassionate.

 

Research done by Siegel and others has shown that mindfulness meditation stimulates the growth of integrative fibers in the brain. But can compassion have the same effect?

 

"What we know for sure is that through lovingkindness meditation, woven in with mindfulness meditation, you stabilize the attention and then you open it up," said Siegel.

 

"You can build the gateway of empathy
and compassion through
mindfulness meditation."

 

Carolyn Gregoire


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» 8 Reasons Why Kindness Should Be Taught in Schools - World of Psychology

» 8 Reasons Why Kindness Should Be Taught in Schools - World of Psychology | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
Most people have heard the phrase "random acts of kindness," which refers to a selfless act of giving resulting in another's happiness. Terms like this are i
Barbara Kerr's insight:

"For children to develop into happy, confident, well-rounded individuals, matters of the heart must be taken seriously and nurtured as a matter of priority."

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Approaching Business Through an Empathetic Lens

Approaching Business Through an Empathetic Lens | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

At Start Empathy we believe everyone can master empathy. It can guide our daily thoughts, words and actions. It can alter our character. And it can also inspire and improve our work.

Last year, 60 Minutes did an interview with David Kelley, CEO and founder of IDEO, the world’s leading innovation and design firm. David Kelley took host Charlie Rose on a tour through his design thinking while entertaining stories of the Apple products on which he and colleague Steve Jobs collaborated. 

What sets Kelley’s business apart and what allows IDEO to flourish is the practice of seeing design through an empathetic lens, making products intuitive and accommodating for consumers.


By Megan Noack


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Business doesn't have to be only about making money. Read on!

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David Hain's curator insight, April 30, 11:50 PM

Empathy as design inspiration - when you start thinking about others' needs, you affect results as well as relationships!

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Change Leader, Change Thyself

Change Leader, Change Thyself | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

Organizational change is inseparable from individual change. Simply put, change efforts often falter because individuals overlook the need to make fundamental changes in themselves. Anyone who pulls the organization in new directions must look inward as well as outward.



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Self-awareness is a key component of leadership. 

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Anne Landreat's curator insight, April 3, 10:26 PM
Organizations don’t change—people do
Joyce Layman's curator insight, April 4, 9:25 AM

An American Management Association study of Fortune 500 companies found that “…less than 50% of changes in their organizations were successful, and that employee resistance was the main reason for failures.”  This is why it's necessary to focus on the person.

Susan Burnell's curator insight, April 4, 9:43 AM

Change starts with awareness. This article has excellent insights, along with an easy-to-understand chart from Erica Ariel Fox on leaders' power sources and "sweet spots."

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Reflective writing and its impact on empathy in medical education: systematic review

Reflective writing and its impact on empathy in medical education: systematic review | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

Purpose:
Medical schools are increasingly aware of the ways in which physician empathy can have a profound impact on patients’ lives and have developed humanities initiatives to address this concern. Reflective writing in particular is more commonly promoted in medical curricula, but there is limited research on the impact of reflective writing on medical student empathy levels. It aims to find the emotional effects of reflective writing interventions on medical and healthcare students by systemic review. 


Methods:
Two investigators independently reviewed educational publications for critical analysis. This review focused systematically on quantitative papers that measure the impact of reflective writing on empathy. 


Results:
Of the 1032 studies found on MEDLINE and CINAHL, only 8 used quantitative measures pre- and post-written reflection to measure any impact on empathy outcomes. The outcomes measured included impact of reflective writing exercises on student wellness, aptitude and/or clinical skills.

 

Of these studies, a significant change in student empathy was observed in 100% of the studies, demonstrating a significant change in outcomes. Conclusions: Although the lack of homogeneity in outcome measurement in the literature limits possible conclusion from this review, the overwhelmingly positive reporting of outcomes suggests that reflective writing should be considered in any medical curriculum.


Isabel Chen 


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Reflective writing can be helpful to many people, and now it has been shown to increase empathy in medical students. 

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Local creator of K-12 social-emotional curriculum in finals for 'changemaker ... - Palo Alto Online

Local creator of K-12 social-emotional curriculum in finals for 'changemaker ... - Palo Alto Online | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
Local creator of K-12 social-emotional curriculum in finals for 'changemaker ...
Palo Alto Online
Project Happiness draws on positive psychology, mindfulness and neuroscience to combat what Taran believes is a rising global problem of depression.
Barbara Kerr's insight:

Take a look at this promising curriculum for increasing empathy, self-awareness, and good mental health. 

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Because the Unthinkable Has Become Commonplace: From Sandy Hook to Seattle | Charter for Compassion

Because the Unthinkable Has Become Commonplace: From Sandy Hook to Seattle | Charter for Compassion | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
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Read about one mother's journey from grief to compassion.

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Empathy and Morality - by Heidi L. Maibom

Empathy and Morality - by Heidi L. Maibom | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

ABSTRACT

Empathy’s centrality to morality is heavily debated. Many religious and philosophical traditions have favored empathy, sympathy, or compassion as key to moral thought, conduct, or motivation.

 

David Hume famously thought that the pains and pleasures of others move people only because they are capable of feeling what they feel by communication, as it were. In recent decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in the idea that empathy or sympathy is central to moral judgment and motivation, but the view is increasingly attacked.

 

Empathy is so morally limited, some argue, that researchers should focus their attention elsewhere. Yet, the importance of human capacities to feel with and for others is hard to deny. This collection is dedicated to the question of the importance of these capacities to morality. It brings together original papers in philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, and neuroscience to give a comprehensive overview of the issue, and includes an extensive survey of empathy and empathy-related emotions.

 

It is distinctive in focusing on the moral import of empathy and sympathy.

 

Though there are many scholarly volumes
on empathy few, if any, are dedicated
to this question.


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Authors to Share "Radical Empathy" Through Storytelling

Authors to Share "Radical Empathy" Through Storytelling | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
Three of the world’s most influential writer/activists will discuss Narrative 4, a program that breaks down barriers through story exchanges.

 

Storytelling has always been with us, and the exchange of personal stories can open doors of communication.

 

To harness this power, global organization  Narrative 4 (N4) aims to promote “radical empathy” through story exchanges, a process that can break down barriers and shatter stereotypes.


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Barbara Kerr's insight:

We can all benefit from greater empathy. 

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When Someone Really Listens, We Heal

When Someone Really Listens, We Heal | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

Sharing our deepest feelings with a trusted individual can be a healing experience, especially for those experiencing depression. Never underestimate the power of talking with someone who really listens.

 

Our culture doesn’t encourage people to

talk about their emotional pain.

 

Our culture teaches people to suppress their feelings. People tell each other not to “whine” about problems or not to “dwell” on them. People are told to “get over it” and to “be strong,” meaning “don’t feel anything—and if you do, don’t talk about it or show it.”

 

Cynthia W. Lubow, MS, MFT


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Just listen . . .

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Claudia M. Reder's curator insight, May 26, 1:50 PM

It is hard for doctors to be good listeners. We all want to feel that we have been heard.

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Compassionate Ones Consulting Group (COCG): An Invitation | Charter for Compassion

Compassionate Ones Consulting Group (COCG): An Invitation | Charter for Compassion | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
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Would you be a good candidate for this hypothetical compassionate consulting group?

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Extending empathy is key to human survival, says academic (Wired UK)

Extending empathy is key to human survival, says academic (Wired UK) | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

Society needs to undergo an empathic revolution if we are to survive as a species, says Anita Nowak of McGill University speaking at PINC 15 in the Netherlands.


There is a spectrum of empathy, says Nowak, with pity at one end, empathy at the other and compassion and sympathy somewhere in between. Pity, while being an emotional reaction to someone else's pain, also involves an element of looking down on people -- this is where a lot of foreign aid and paternalistic philanthropy has come from.

 

When we empathise, however, we recognise
that we all share a common humanity and
that we are all inherently worthy.

 

Extending empathy, Nowak continues, is the only human emotion that expresses equality between humans.

by KATIE COLLINS


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David Hain's curator insight, May 21, 3:37 AM

Will learning to be truly empathetic save us from ourselves?

Lon Woodbury's curator insight, May 21, 10:02 AM

This is becoming a major issue and one of the goals of mindfulness etc.  It is going to be interesting to see how this focus works out as more people take a critical look. -Lon

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What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Compassion

What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Compassion | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

Mounting evidence of the impact of contemplative practices like meditation (which we now know can, quite literally, rewire the brain) are finally bringing modern science up to speed with ancient wisdom.


Mindfulness and compassion — the practices of cultivating a focused awareness on the present moment, and extending a loving awareness to others — are part of every religion and wisdom tradition, and we’re at last beginning to understand the profound impact that they have on the brain, says psychiatrist and mindfulness expert Dr. Dan Siegel.



===================

Compassion is integration of the
mind made visible.

=====


image 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience



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Are Happy Leaders Better at Developing Resilience?

Are Happy Leaders Better at Developing Resilience? | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
It is too easy to forget the pure joy happiness brings as it reveals the truth. After all, when we are truly happy doesn't everything feel more balanced, less extreme, and more like it truly is, without the shadows of darkness and worry? All things happen in a better way when we are happy.
Barbara Kerr's insight:

Happiness IS important!  "Pharrell Williams' song Happy has lifted the mood of millions.  It did not win the Oscar for best original song, but it won hearts and is played and replayed on every vehicle for music available. Why? Because we want to be happy don't we?  And we want our children, our own and those who come to school every day, to be happy also."

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Video: Special Coverage: La Crosse Compassion Project - Define Compassion

Video: Special Coverage: La Crosse Compassion Project - Define Compassion | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it

After one year of planning and months of hard work, more than 6,000 canvasses are now on display at the Pump House Regional Arts Center in La Crosse until June 28.


Each piece of art was created by students as part of La Crosse School District’s Compassion Project.


Organizers believe the work done by these students could have a profound impact on the entire community.


Related Content

News 8 Eye Piece: Compassion ProjectLa Crosse Compassion Project: Each canvas tells a storyPreview event held for the La Crosse Compassion ProjectAquinas' Compassion Project to be on displayUW-L students, staff to share their idea of compassion



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What a beautiful way to spread compassion in a community!

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Study: Receiving a Compliment has Same Positive Effect as Receiving Cash

Study: Receiving a Compliment has Same Positive Effect as Receiving Cash | Compassion and Empathy | Scoop.it
Compliments may not pay the rent, but according to new research, they help improve performance in a similar way to receiving a cash reward. Researchers recruited 48 adults for the study who were asked to learn and perform a specific finger pattern (pushing keys on a keyboard in a particular sequence as fast as possible in 30 [...]

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Barbara Kerr's insight:

If you are in a position of authority, you might want to try this!

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John Michel's curator insight, April 12, 12:14 PM

Compliments may not pay the rent, but according to new research, they help improve performance in a similar way to receiving a cash reward.