How to talk to sad, jealous, anxious kids

posted in: Empathic Skills | 13

Okay, so my husband Tino and I are living in what I call “unintentional community,” or a condo complex. It’s a nice place near his new job, it’s month-to-month so we can look for a home, and it’s got trees and lovely plantings everywhere, so I’m not complaining. However, we’re right on top of people, so we hear the goings on, especially with a neighbor family … Read More

What is Emotional Hygiene?

posted in: Emotions | 8

Emotional hygiene is an idea I developed about seven years ago (the phrase is not original to me, though) when I was dealing with depression and one of my best friends was dealing with anxiety. As it turns out, the two states aren’t very compatible! My friend and I had been very close and emotionally in sync for many years, and we were very used to … Read More

Targeting Emotion Work

posted in: Empathic Skills | 3

Ooh, I just witnessed a beautiful example of emotion work and how it can surprise us! I’m standing in line at the Target, and I’m three people back from the checker. Everyone is standing around trying not to look bored. I’m studying people like I always do. The checker is a man in his 50s, slender but rather disheveled, with hair that needs cutting and a … Read More

An Introduction to Emotion Work

In her excellent 1983 book, The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, sociologist Arlie Hochschild described what she termed “emotion work,” or the way that our emotions and emotional states are a part of what we offer (and what is expected from us) in the workplace.  For instance, flight attendants must not only understand the intricacies of their physical work on airplanes, but they must also … Read More

What is an Empath?

posted in: Empathy | 15

When people ask me what I do, I say that I’m a writer, researcher, and empath.  This last title often makes people ask “What?” For my fellow trekkies, the word “empath” has a special meaning. Gem, in the 1968 episode “The Empath,” was able to take other peoples’ emotions and pain into her own body and heal it for them. Gem is magical and does not … Read More

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