Emotion work revisited!

I’ve had the opportunity to bring my work into the corporate world recently, and I’m having such a wonderful time! In Emotional Dynamics at Work®, we’re working on emotions, empathy, and the crucial concept of emotion work, and I want to share it with you. Understanding emotion work In her groundbreaking book, The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, sociologist Arlie Hochschild (pronounced hoke-shilled) described what … Read More

The social genius of jealousy and envy

Welcoming jealousy and envy! Jealousy and envy need a hearty welcome, because they are perhaps two of the most hated (and valenced) emotions in the entire emotional realm. This is a tragedy, because jealousy and envy are actually essential for your social survival — you really need them! Luckily for us, we can work with jealousy and envy empathically and shield ourselves from the deeply unfortunate … Read More

A new prophecy for 2012

2012 is almost here, and this exciting and troubling 2011 is almost over. I hope you’re warm, safe, and well, and I wish you a Happy New Year! As we head into a year that is being promoted by some as either the end of the world or the beginning of a new dawn in human development, I’d like to take an empathic, historical look at … Read More

Working through depression

When suicides are in the news, people tend to talk more about depression. Medical and psychological researchers (and news outlets) focus a great deal of attention on depression, and it seems that every week brings a new story about what does and doesn’t work for depression. This is great; it’s a positive movement that is helping to make depression more of an everyday topic (instead of … Read More

Surviving the apocalypse, chapter 743

Okay, we’ve survived the most recent prophecy about the end of the world, but (spoiler!) we always will. Prophecies are richly fascinating, and they tell us so much — sociologically, anthropologically, and historically — about what their believers feel, sense, think, and hope about the world, but they’re never right. This weekend, yet another group of believers found that out for themselves. My hope is that … Read More

Talking about empathy with Tami Simon

Tami Simon and I got a chance to talk about empathy last year when I was in Colorado recording the audio workshop for The Language of Emotions. She’s a wonderful interviewer, and I want to expand on a few things we covered in this short interview (here’s the the original empath: Gem from Star Trek). Why are emotions so hard to understand? They’re not. The problem … Read More

Is it real, or is it reified?

We talked about the difference between imaginary things and imaginal things a few days ago, and about how important our imaginal capacities are. Basically, the difference between the two is that imaginal things are those that we create intentionally, whereas imaginary things (such as Easter Bunnies and optical illusions) are those that we don’t consciously choose. For me, imaginal things have intentionality behind them; they have … Read More

Happy World Autism Awareness Day!

The United Nations has declared today World Autism Awareness Day. Excellent! I had the opportunity to work with a group of young adults on the Autism Spectrum, and in order to get ready, I read everything I could get my hands on. Autism has been described as a form of “mind-blindness” by British psychopathology professor and researcher Simon Baron-Cohen … as a lack of function in … Read More

Are men less able to feel emotions?

The short answer is, no, men are not less able to feel emotions. Men may even feel emotions more intensely than women do, because they’ve been socialized to view themselves as unemotional, and may feel that their emotions are somehow strange or out of place. Also, in general, men are not socially permitted to express emotions or chat with friends about them as women are able … Read More

Five Year Overnight Success!

I just found out that a sociological study I co-authored with Janja Lalich, Ph.D. (see her books here) has been accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed journal. Yow! It’s so exciting! It’s a study of the lives of gay, lesbian, and questioning ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses. When Janja first told me about the study, I laughed and thought, “Why not do a study on green-eyed male writers from … Read More