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Growing empathy for a peaceful world

When empathy backfires... or which kind of empathy to use when...

This link will take you to one of the many articles pointing out that empathy is not universally beneficial. Of course not! Every good thing can be used in the wrong place or the wrong way. It's good to have these explorations of the uses of empathy, and this is a useful article, definitely worth reading. I just hope that empathy doesn't get a bad press and go out of fashion!

"We know that empathy in the workplace creates happier and more productive employees. And that leaders who are empathetic engender more loyalty from their employees. But there is a difference between an empathetic, compassionate boss and a boss that’s too nice. In fact, a boss who never gives criticism is almost worse than one who deals harsh verbal blows."

The above quote from the article in points out that giving no feedback to an employee for instance, because of being afraid of hurting their feelings, is not at all good for people. It reminds me that the same is true for children. Once they are past the first year or so, when saying yes is best for their development, saying no kindly and appropriately is actually necessary for a child's healthy growth. Boundaries tell us where we are and how to operate in the environment we're in. Robin Grille's article After Attachment ... What Then? covers this stage of development excellently. Here's a quote: 

From the toddler years onward we need to start introducing our children to some age-appropriate demands and expectations. This is how they gradually awaken to the sense that other people have their own needs and feelings, and thus they begin a journey towards consciousness of the ‘other’, towards respect and empathy. An assertive parent that asks for respect is also the role model showing the child how to be appropriately assertive.

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