Emotion work revisited!

posted in: Empathy | 21

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

posted in: Emotions | 14

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

Emotion Work Identified

As I’ve been working with neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s definition of emotions as action-requiring neurological programs, I created a flowchart to help you understand the difference between feelings and emotions. This is my simplified flowchart: An emotionally evocative stimulus occurs → The stimulus evokes a specific emotion → You utilize your ability to feel that emotion → You name that emotion → You act on the information … Read More

Working through depression

posted in: Empathic Skills | 38

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

posted in: Empathy | 12

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

Is it a feeling or is it an emotion?

posted in: Emotions | 28

I know I’m supposed to be posting about hatred right now, but there’s a distinction that needs to be established before we can really go into any depth with a big, meaty, potentially dangerous emotion like hatred. I call hatred one of the “raging rapids” emotions, because if you don’t know what hatred is about or how to work with it, you can easily get caught … Read More

Happy World Autism Awareness Day!

posted in: Autism | 8

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

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