Being Well Podcast: Empathy
September 17, 2018

Today we’re continuing our discussion of Intimacy by focusing on Empathy, which allows us to tune into and understand other people.

Last week we began the strength of Intimacy by exploring the balance of Intimacy and Autonomy – including how a strong sense of personal autonomy increases our ability to be emotionally intimate with others. When we’re strongly grounded in “me,” we’re more able to be empathic without getting flooded or overwhelmed.

Today we’re continuing our discussion of Intimacy by focusing on Empathy, which allows us to tune into and understand other people.

Empathy is a key social skill, and it’s absolutely necessary for intimacy. It helps us make sense of tone and nuance, read intentions correctly, recognize the hurt under anger, and see the being behind the other person’s eyes. Then we can communicate and interact more skillfully.

During this episode, we discuss:

  • Why empathy is so important in our shrinking world
  • The biological basis for empathy
  • How we can increase our capacity for empathic relating
  • How we can use empathy during our interactions with other people.

Timestamps:

  • 0:30: Why do we need to be empathic in order to be intimate?
  • 1:50: Where does empathy come from biologically?
  • 5:15: Summary of the three ways we can show empathy.
  • 5:50: Is empathy a trait that can be developed?
  • 8:15: Sustaining your attention to other people.
  • 10:35: Letting yourself be truly affected by another person.  
  • 12:30: Empathic joining vs. problem solving.
  • 13:55: Having empathy for perspectives very different from your own.
  • 18:45: Ways to have empathy in the moment.
  • 20:00: Feeling felt.
  • 21:20: Using empathy responsibly.
  • 22:00: Empathic imagination.
  • 24:15: How to avoid playing the psychologist.
  • 26:00: Being aware of true intentions.
  • 27:40: Managing tone and using empathy to communicate.
  • 30:25: Finding me and we through empathy.

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