Welcome to my first Friday post! Instead of trying to create something “original,” I’m going to share what inspires me. After all, as Palahniuk says,
Yesterday I mentioned Dr. Brené Brown and her work on Vulnerability. In this RSA short, The Power of Empathy, some creative peeps animated a portion of Dr. Brown’s talk on the difference between empathy, which, “fuels connection,” and sympathy, which, “drives disconnection.” Well worth 3 minutes of your time!
Personally, I couldn’t agree with Dr. Brown more, especially when she says, “rarely, if ever, does an empathic response begin with, ‘at least.'” To paraphrase, when we use, “at least” statements, it’s because someone shared something incredibly painful with us, and in response, we try to put the silver lining around it. In my experience, each of us is capable of finding our own silver lining, eventually, but when we are in the, “deep, dark hole,” we are not ready for it. Part of the human experience is to feel our pain, to let it wash us over us, and to know that it will pass. Of course, complications arise when you can’t draw the line between allowing yourself time to grieve and wallowing. That’s a subject I’ll leave for another day, but I’m curious about your take on the matter. What are your thoughts on sympathy and empathy? On “silver linings?” On the experience of grief versus wallowing?
Why yes, I have given you homework for the weekend. Remember what I said about doing work for your emotional well-being? You don’t have to share your thoughts with me, but perhaps this could be a conversation with an old friend over a cup of coffee or glass of wine? Either way, I hope you recharge your batteries this weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday…same bat time, same bat channel!