Empathy – and words linked to it

Empathy? I wrote an article about having too much of it : The “Too Much Empathy” Syndrome

The ability to feel (or guess) what another person is feeling, believing…

We thinkers like to examine it, but I realize there aren’t so many books about it.

My first idea is it’s because it’s a big-deep quality. It’s like being dexterous or green fingered, and being clumsy. You can’t, really, change that.

  1. One can not develop their empathy.
  2. One certainly can not make someone develop their empathy.

My second idea is that though we all have, built in our deeprofound mind, a prehistorical dose of empathy – some people only, then (education? culture?) can develop the flowers of empathy from it, some others don’t. It’s dry. That’s it.

Another word? Attention. If you have empathy, you watch people around you, your kids, your love – you have a like perpetual computing algorithm which “guesses and reports” what probably happens in others’s heads. You read them continuously.

Another word? The decentering process. To have empathy you have to decenter. The next word is selfishness, then.

Another word? Relational Intelligence. A dance between a dry empathy which we need to understand the others’ intentions and feelings, and a warm empathy which is deeper and linked to love.

Maybe one can develop the first one? A rational empathy, is it possible?

Then it leads to empathy as a tool, in management, teaching, or therapy. It becomes, then, a… lever (or a leverage, which one’s the best?).

How to we detect a lack of empathy? How does empathy rejoin the love of stories? And what about “types of conversations”? Where and how does a lack of empathy become an… asset? What about justice, or police? What about mother/baby? And father/baby? What is vicariance, and how is it used in pedagogy? What is the “pleasure to help”?

A teacher who has empathy knows how to interest his class, then he has their attention, then they learn

Thanks for reading!

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Ohh I found a book on my shelves, “A History of Empathy”. I’m on it, OK?

An empty letter from Madagascar (Silence Treatments Types)

I keep letters (and mails). All of them. It’s like a diary. It’s like traveling in time, being in two persons’ brains, “dialog archeology”, you feel the water under the bridge, too. And if the person died, you can talk with him/her endlessly.

 

I found an old letter in which a friend told me that she dated a guy and lived a few weeks of love before breaking up, because he was too intense, toxic, and jealous. Drama! He said he would left the country to live in Madagascar, and that he will never talk to her again! Then he disappeared…

One day, years later, she got an envelope. From Madagascar. She didn’t open it : it was empty.

She wrote me about her boiling brain since : Was it a mistake? Cruelty? A symbol? A paradox (“I think of you but I won’t talk”)? A “Hello”? In fact, she was so moved that it’s been good to her. It made her think about herself, about life, about him, about moving forward, etc…

 

This kind of cruelty made me think about the concept of “Silence Treatment“.

Silence Treatment always had many faces. And even in the Eighties and before, you already could play with it :

  1. To sulk in a couple (for days, why not)
  2. To disappear without an address
  3. To commit suicide
  4. Abandoned child
  5. Quitting your best friend for ever because he/she went too far

Who does that and why? To manipulate? To forget? Protection? Cruelty? Stupidity?

 

Now we have smartphones and the Internet, tools outnumber old possibilities. You can just BLOCK someone one Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype, Email, etc… – and all pertaining games :

  • you can block the blocker, so there!
  • you can unblock someone, say something and reblock him/her (just to imagine the boiling process – which, beware could steam back… where it can).
  • you can use real mail (paper) to bypass (I love when reality hits the virtual fan!).

 

I know a friend who has been almost destroyed by a lunatic pervert (living on the other side of an ocean) who constantly contacted her, flooded her with love and promises then disappeared for months for no reason, in a loop, keeping her disarmed in a boiling despair for years.

Silence treatment is dreadful (see, I learned a new word!), and we should only use it for protection.

 

Thus I’m back thinking about the empty letter from Madagascar. As an optimist, I choose this (because I choose to think people can’t be “that” mean) : It was a way for the guy to say “I promised I won’t talk to you anymore, but here’s something to show you I think of you, though”.

Awweeeeee!…

 

Thanks for reading!

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“I’ve never said that!”

There are dozens of articles about manipulators, but I loved this one :

http://iheartintelligence.com/2017/08/23/end-emotionally-draining-relationship/

The author lists 4 signs, which are :

  1. Twist what you’ve said in their favor
  2. “I never said that!”
  3. Play the victim
  4. Belittle all of your problems

It’s a great article, and today I focus on 2.

“I’ve never said that!”

When you hear it from a person you love, you immediately fall from horse. Then you wonder what’s happening…

  • Why so much bad faith?
  • Are you victim of hallucinations?
  • Why does he/she lie?
  • Maybe he/she really forgot?
  • You’re emotionally manipulated then : what for?
  • To get something?

Then you hear :

  • “You got me wrong”
  • “You’re too serious”
  • “You invent stories”
  • “You try to manipulate me”
  • “I was joking”
  • “You expect too much”
  • “You’re always complaining”

 

Well, etc. You are a prey, that’s it. You’re confused, and that’s the purpose of it…

“They will convince you you are just inventing problems. That you are seeking to find them.That you are ungrateful. You are weak. You are stressing them out. You are just not good with finding solutions. You focus so much on the bad. You exaggerate. And so on.”

 

The manipulator will always accuse you of what he/she’s doing. You’re dramatic. You use him/her to entertain. They have “trust issues” exactly when you shouldn’t trust them. Etc.

 

As you’re intelligent, you notice all this, your “knowledge of the other” is growing and you begin to pack your ideas in your mind to stay safe. But then, of course, the manipulator changes his/her face. Becomes a treasure again (although never sorry for what happened). You melt. You’re done.

If you’re married there is no solution. Find your own way to escape (hunting, biking, muscling, whatever) and try to explode in rage the less you can. Murdering your demon not good. Jail not good. Breathe.

 

Oh, to finish this. There’s only one thing to understand if you don’t already know it : they will NEVER accept they’re like that. It’s maybe the dark core of all manipulators – there is no cure, ever.

 

You can also read : Signs of Bad Signs : our shades of narcissism and Narration of cold sadism as low form of gaiety : a narcissistic tropism

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : _bodylanguage_

 

Your Special World / Your Special People

“Some people make the world more special just by being in it”.

Obviously, with a rainbowed butterfly, it’s an “inspirational quote”, probably about love, right?

You can also think about stars (who said Marilyn Monroe?), or people who “really” changed the world, from Lincoln to Churchill. Inspiration.

I like to think about other ways to consider it….

Maybe it’s about someone who appeared and really changed you for good, and forever. A mutation, a growing up process. By the way, it’s maybe your spouse, now! Or it will be :

“The world is more special with you, I want to keep your around…”

 

Maybe it’s about someone who has been in your life and is now gone. A father who died, a lover who chose to let you down. This person is not there anymore, but you are – and you will always – think about him or her this way :

“What would he (she) think about that?”

 

Therefore, the colorful butterfly trick is maybe accurate. Some people ADD colors to your life, to your brain, right?

What about yourself? Do you think of someone who’d say that about you? Yes? No? Why?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Signs of Bad Signs : our shades of narcissism

DSM (Manual of Mental Disorders) Labels are frightening. You read the list and you’ll find you have ALL disorders. You’re bipolar, antisocial, autistic and narcissistic, haha, and probably crazy enough to be locked away from society. All of us. All in prison, voilà.

You’ll probably agree that we have all at least a little percentage of every disorder, right?

Today I wonder if I’m not a narcissistic. And all of you in the same basket, so there!!

Wikipedia says :

“Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder (…) characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others’ feelings.”

Well, we all need to have this, OK? Cut the “exaggerated” word and here we are : as long as I didn’t reach the oriental “no ego” state, I need to feel a spoon of self-importance to stay happy, I clearly seek approval in many moments of my life, and if I know I’m often too empathetic, there are moments I don’t get other people, their choices seem sooo weird at times…

So I’m 25% narcissistic, is that it, Doctor?

I googled and found terrible things on the web, from “happiness blogs” to therapists articles and I copy/pasted a few ladles of sentences for you.

Une “personnalité narcissique”, c’est terrible! I hope you’ll never meet this kind of person, they seem to be a MESS :

  • They want to be in control and if they can’t they are nasty and biting
  • Perfectionists : “you’re never good enough”
  • Put others down : nastiness as a sport – they have to win – “I’m better than you”
  • “You’re just……………” add here any definition. Labeling you.
  • Pedestal someone to hate someone else (hey, that’s tricky!)
  • Fear of love and other emotions, all of them are “drama”
  • “You have to change”
  • “When things go wrong between us, it’s always your fault”
  • Introverted narcissists : hypersensitive, defensive and anxious
  • “You don’t understand me”
  • Grandiose projects (which lead to crashes, dramas, failures)
  • Never really open (control!), they forbid themselves to be vulnerable
  • Seek appreciation, deserved admiration
  • Selfish
  • “Make some efforts”
  • Use others to entertain
  • Never wrong, never his fault, “externalize blame”
  • “You’re too sensitive” (a label, again : “YOU are”, never “I am”)
  • Use others to get stronger then trash them – “take advantage to people”
  • Accusing others of what they do (“She’s unstable, grandiose, she’s bipolar“)

Oh my. That’s worse than DSM! Run, boy, run!

Thanks for reading. It’s summer!

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Unsteadiness, Propositions & Expectations : Life!

I’ve known someone who expected people around her to be :

  1. Steady
  2. Without any pressure
  3. Without expectations

It was really like an Instruction Manual!

I explain her… expectations :

  1. If you say you’ll doing something, you HAVE to do it. Steady. You have no right to change your mind, or to adapt to events, desires or possibilities. STEADY like a sh*t in the fridge.
  2. It is forbidden to ask. Propositions are considered nasty. Because it’s “pressure“.
  3. Don’t have any expectations (which are “pressure”, of course). You own brain is considered useless, or boring, and therefore will not be considered.

So I’ve have been a complete mess next to this person! Because :

  1. I’m not steady and I will never be. I make mistakes, I change my mind, I meet other people with desires. Things happen. Reality is complex and moving. I adapt. I am not steady.
  2. I have a brain and I use it, so I love propositions! If I feel close to someone, I feel free to tell what I think. I expect a dialog, and a person able to say “no”, but also “yes”.
  3. I – of course – have plenty of expectations, because I’m alive. I am not a king, but there’s no queen around either. Equality is interesting. In certain situations, I expect something, yes. I don’t understand why I shouldn’t, too!

 

A few dials :

  • In fact, I don’t even know what pressure is… Human beings I’m in relation with, have questions, propositions, ideas. I dance with them. Or not.
  • The idea of pressure means you COULD be pressured. Which is absurd, between adults. Unless you feel weak, nobody should be able to pressure you (exception : your manager, and the law).
  • If you’re used to obedience, any living human interaction will harm you.

 

What, or who is really like this? :

  • Steady
  • Without any pressure
  • Without expectations

A zombie, a robot, a valet, or a dog. With communication skills, but in a certain way only : obedience (and understanding what you’re asked). There’s an instruction manual, right? Just follow. Be strong. Or run.

Thanks for reading!

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When you hate someone and 3 mn later you deeply love this person

“When you hate someone and 3 minutes later you deeply love this person”, makes me think of some 2 French idioms :

Avoir du répondant : “To have some answering”. You have in English “To have an answer for everything”, but the French one is VERY different. It’s much more positive, it’s a skill, a happy skill. It’s great to have a friend or a partner who “have some answering”. It means you can fight without anger, like a conversation game : you know that the other is strong enough to play with you, to say “No I disagree” without anger. “Avoir du répondant” is to be smart, fast, effective and strong in conversation. I would add “joyful” to the list.

In conversation, or in sex, or in dance (tango!), or in creativity. You need nerve, decisions, propositions and muscles on your side, right?

 

Ni avec toi, ni sans toi : “Nor with you, nor without you”. It’s a quirky dance. You cannot stand to be with someone : both will be torn apart quickly. “I hate you, demon!. But you cannot stand to be without this personne more than 3 minutes. Because she/he has some answering : Cette personne a du répondant. It’s great to talk. You’re alive. There’s gold, a bond. Come on… “I’ll love you forever whatever”…

What a strange loop!

 

Thanks for reading!

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“Faire bonne figure” is the French “Put a brave face on it”

Look contented, look happy, when you’re pretty disturbed inside, that’s “Faire bonne figure”, you put a brave face on your face. Watching this concept gives you a dashboard, an instrument panel :

  • It’s a matter of politeness, first.
  • You don’t want to embarrass the others.
  • You don’t want to appear as a fool, either!
  • Yes, it’s a mask.
  • Somewhere inside of you, there’s a pilot.
  • Trying to look natural is awkward.
  • Therefore you can speak too much, too loud, or be too quiet, etc.
  • Somewhere inside of you, you HOPE that the other side will guess.
  • Somewhere inside of you, you HOPE that the other side will stop.
  • Somewhere inside of you, you HOPE that the other side did not make on purpose to put you into this merdy situation.
  • Amor Fati!

 

Putting a brave face on you is exhausting. It charges you in dark energy : Don’t mess too much with someone who’s been in this state…

 

Thanks for reading!

I’m perfectly OK

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Instagram : itspeteski

 

The power of questions & the strength of possibilities

The power of questions is the power of intriguing you.

Some questions don’t even need answers, but have the power to move your brain, to make it invent. Invent concepts, ways, doors, solutions, views…

Questions are events (because where you live, there is no florescence of questions). Questions are interesting, they can also be disturbing, or funny.

You can make the decision to let yourself be driven, or be pushed around by the power of questions.

Questions trigger movements in your brain, movements of dance, of dodging, or even swerving. Smile!

Questions secrete glowing happy interesting fog-patches of possibilities around you.

Maybe questions can meet… your own questions. Maybe they help you to ask some more questions to your partner, or… to yourself : to be surprised, to discover the strength of possibilities.

Sorry, I’m French, and if my quirky English tickles you, my bad.

Tool : Invention. Events. Decisions. Movements. Possibilities. Questions are powerful. Ask, or be asked? Both! Dolphins are fast and elegant, they seek this dance.

Merci !

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Giberrishing management and other relationships

Erving Goffman explored it a long time ago in books like The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. I copy paste wikipedia :

Goffman believes that all participants in social interactions are engaged in certain practices to avoid being embarrassed or embarrassing others. This led to Goffman’s dramaturgical analysis. Goffman saw a connection between the kinds of acts that people put on in their daily life and theatrical performances.

So : life in society is a theater.

In relationships, there’s often a gap between an ideal and… reality. It can lead to drama, or to theater : wear a mask. Acting like you are supposed to do.

In management, it’s the same! One day you realize that your manager is managing as if he was believing his sh*t. And if YOU are the manager, well…

Where else?

Everything is fine, right?

Dials :

So what? It can be useful, to be “in peace”!

Where is our theater? What happens when masks fall, and why? Anger? Steam? Change?

Why and how can we become ourselves suddenly, and what would be the consequences?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : myivoryroot