Friday, February 1, 2008

AWNM Empathy Fishbowl/LiveBlog Per. 3 and 4

Dan Pink will be joining us for our February 7th LiveBlog:

Dan is the author of two influential business books, A Whole New Mind and Free Agent Nation. Dan held his last real job in the White House, where he served from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore. He's also worked as an aide to U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich, an economic policy staffer in the U.S. Senate, a legal researcher in India, and a latrine builder in Botswana. Dan lives in Washington, D.C.

223 comments:

1 – 200 of 223   Newer›   Newest»
Oliviak said...

Mr. Pink,

Thank you for joining us to discuss the book. All of us from Mrs. Moritz’s 9th grade honors classes are very excited for our discussion and appreciate you taking the time to discuss with us.

KelseyL said...

Do you think that empathy is important for everyone? Is there an appropriate time to use it?

jordans said...

what is an example of being over empathetic?

KiraW said...

I agree with Lisa, we often do think too much of what other people think about us. We don't always care about what other people are thinking or going through, we just think of ourselves.

AustinD said...

I agree with the inner circle. There is a time to be emotional and a time to hide it. Math tests are definetly not the time to be emotional. However, by encorperating empathy and emotion into all tasks, we can better the world we live in.

matta said...

Kelsey

Empathy is important for everyone, and everyone can benifit from empathy because it just helps you to understand others and that will filter into everything you do

Daniel said...

or to rephrase jordans's question, when can too empathy create a problem?

dermodys said...

Yes i believe that empathy important for everyone because everyone wants others to care about their problems and help them.No one wants people to ignore them and dismiss their problems as just facts and data.

KelseyL said...

Matt

How empathetic do you think that people need to be?

jkeefer said...

By using empathy, how can it change your outlook on life?

Daniel said...

ooops. too much empathy.

Madisont said...

I don't understand how it is possible to be overempathetic because there may be a limit on how empathetic people can be but I dont think its something that can be overused

Daniel said...

to the inner circle: does empathy always have to be *conscious*?

AmberG said...

I think that you have to know when to be empathetic. Otherwise you will always be dealing with other people's problems and never your own.

shannanp said...

How does empathy relate to the difference between the left and the right brain?

Jacque said...

Often being over emotional can blind us and prevent us from seeing a situation clearly. For example, if someone has a heart attack, rather than crying and panicking it is best to remain calm and unemotional. If you do remain calm, their is a greater chance of saving that person's life.

CatherineD said...

I think that empathy is the most important sense. When I read through all the different chapters on the senses empathy was brought up many times. It is almost as if it is the glue for all the senses.

rachels said...

To much empathy can create problems when we begin to immerse ourselves too much in other people's experiences or problems. It's important to find balance between knowing what others are going through and maintaining your own life.

James said...

Ausind... what about if you want to design something that could help a group of people... let's say a group of people with hearing difficulties. You truly care for this group and their challenges and you use your mathematic skills to assist them and their lives. Math at this moment is tied to emotions isn't it?

Oliviak said...

Kelsey
I think that empathy is important to everyone because it realtes to our relationships with other people.

matta said...

Kelsey

I think that people just need to empathetic enough to understand how other people feel, so that they can live and interact with others easily

OliviaO said...

Mr. Pink,
You can be overempathic when you push your emotions on to someone. When a friend of yours is sad and something bad has happened to them they dont want to hear you talk about something similar that has happened to you. They want a person to listen to what happened to them and feel bad for them.I could be wrong though, mabye thats just me.

Daniel said...

jacque -- good point. one key to the effective use of empathy is to deploy it at the right time.

KelseyL said...

olivia

How much does empathy affect our relationships with others?

JSelzer said...

No. I think some people just are naturally more aware of others' feelings. To build off that, do you agree that women are generally more empathetic than men?

jordans said...

I do not think that you can control empathy, it's an instinct and a natural intuition that can take over. It's kind of like how you can't control your emotions and how you feel.

Tasha P said...

I agree that empathy is an important "sense" but also I agree with Jaclyn because it can sometimes be "in the way". My uncle has liver cancer and he only has a few months to live; our family just found out and for about a week my mom and my grandmother were having emotional breakdowns and crying and feeling remorse. I kind of wondered why we had to cry about it now, why not spend the best time with him while he's still with us. Empathy can get in the way of what really matters sometimes.

Daniel said...

oliviao -- good point. in fact, there's some recent research that shows that doctors who simply say things like "oh, that happened to me once," actually are seen as *less* empathic.

Sydney said...

In response to jkeefer
Empathy can change your outlook of life a lot. When you are empathetic, you are in another persons shoes and it helps you relate to that person.

Alexm said...

I don't think empathy is always a conscientous reaction. Sometimes without even knowing it you can place yourself in another's situation. You can do this without thinking about it.

KelseyL said...

Joe

Why do you think that women are more empathetic than men?

marissas said...

I agree with Alyssa. Empathy is an emotion that comes naturally most of the time.

matta said...

I don't see how understanding how other people feel by "putting your self in their shoes" is something you should only do some of the time, acting on it could be limited but the understanding itself should always be happening whenever you talk to someone.

dermodys said...

jacque! I understand what you are saying when someone is having a heart attack its not a time to cry but if you don't care in the first place how in the heck are you gonna save their life??? I want to be a trauma surgeon and I have gone on call with a trauma surgeon and although she remains calm you can tell she cares and that is what gives her heart and the ability to save lives everyday!

AustinD said...

This is DennisK:
In my opinion, empathetic aptitudes may not always fit in some contexts. There is a time for emotion; other situations may require no emotion whatsoever.

jkeefer said...

Sydney; True, it does help you relate to the person, but what if they don't want you to be that emotionally connected with them?

Jennifer said...

I noticed the same thing that Catherine did about empathy tieing all the senses together. I thought that the main chapter that connected to empathy is story. When people tell you stories, it opens a door into their perspective and allows you to be more empathetic towards them.

Sydney said...
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CatherineD said...

Do you think that people when they just had something horrible happen to them appreciate empathy?

matta said...

Tasha

I understand your point but I don't think crying had much to do for empathy, you were not crying so much because your uncle was sad, it was your feelings that caused you to cry, not your uncle's.

marissas said...

I agree with Alyssa. Empathy is an emotion that comes naturally most of the time.

delaney n said...

Last night I was thinking about how we were blogging with Daniel Pink today. I was watching a movie and just let my mind wander, but when I thought about it more, I could tell I was being empathetic with the characters in the movie.

It is amazing how empathy plays a roll in our life without even realizing it.

Is there any way we can control our natural urge to be empathetic?

jordans said...

I agree with what Jacque that it can get in the way but sometimes we don't have control over it. Unfortunately it can prevent us from seeing the truth and can cause us to go the wrong direction because we're following our emotions not our brains and common sense.

OliviaO said...

Kelsey,
A good friend is empathetic but not over the top. No one has fun when its a one-sided freindship, where one friend talks all the time and the other is forced to listen because the other one wont be quiet. Good friends with good relationships talk the same amount to each other and have the same amount of empathy for each other. What is your opinion?

rachels said...

I agree that empathy is an unconscious reaction to interacting with other people that we experience everyday. When we take a step back and try to understand what we're doing in empathizing with others, we can start to see what an impact it has.

HillaryR said...

tasha- You make a really good point about unnecessary empathy. Sometimes, it is best to create a happy environment for someone who is suffering rather than smother them with "oh poor dears." How can you tell when is the right time to sympathize?

JSelzer said...

Kelsey- I think men have been taught over time to hide their feelings more than women, not that they're neccesarily less empathetic. They are expected to be the "strong" one, emotionally and physically.

Daniel said...

I'm intrigued by the "glue" comments. What are some other ways that empathy connects with the other five senses?

Madisont said...

catherine:
i really think it depends on the individual because sometimes people just want everyone to leave them alone so they can accept the grim facts but other times, they really need the comfort that friends can bring and empathize

KelseyL said...

Olivia
I agree with you that there needs to be a balance in friendships and relationships but I don't think that it all centers around empathy.

Jacque said...

Dermondys-
Yes obviously you have to care, but you can't take emotions too far. You have to be able to tone down your emotion at times. When in emergency situations, it is actually very important to make decisions without being affected by spur-of-the-moment emotions which could cloud your vision of the situation.

jkeefer said...

Similar to they inner circle; Do you think it is true that every single man in the world shows or gives away less empathy than women and children?

Anna K said...

I agree with JSelzer. Men are taught to hide their feelings more because they are expected to be "manly"

shannanp said...

I think that we are confusing empathy with feeling sorry for a person. Empathy is when you put yourself in someone else's shoes and think about how you would react to the situation. However, feeling sorry for someone is being thankful that you aren't in their position and wish you could help, but don't.

shannanp said...

But only sometimes...

KelseyL said...

Joe
So are you saying that men can't show emotion around others because then they won't be seen as strong.

delaney n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AmberG said...

I think Jennifer has a cool way of looking at empathy and I'm wondering, does empathy relate to design?

matta said...

Hillary

you asked when it is the right time to sympathize, but that is not what we are talking about, we are talking about empathy and the two are very different. Empathy is about feeling what others feel, which can give you a good understanding of what to do with them, wheras sympathy is just feeling sorry for someone instead of feeling what they feel, and in many cases sympathy is very less effective.

marissas said...

I agree with Alyssa. Empathy is an emotion that comes naturally most of the time.

stephanief said...

Catherined-
I recently had something horrible happen in my family and I appreciate empathy to an extent, but it can go overboard. When something bad happens, such as a family death, people try to empathize but they most likely really don't know what you feel.

dermodys said...

Hillaryr:
I think that we can always be empathetic but sometimes and in certain situations we need to be less empathetic depending on the person and in what ways we can relate to their situation.

marissas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AustinD said...

This is Dennis K:
The justification I would present for the tendency of men to reveal less emotion in comparison to women is due to their stereotypical nature. Men are commonly and traditionally classified as "tough", and unveiling emotional qualities somewhat eliminates "manliness".

Oliviak said...

On what Mrs. Moritz was saying men and women express our empathy differently.

jeffreys said...

Jselzer, I would agree with you that men tend to hide their emotions more than women, but it isn't nessesarily because they were taught that way. Not to sound sterotypical, but nature has naturaly made human males the generaly stronger gender.

marissas said...

I agree with Alyssa. Empathy is an emotion that comes naturally most of the time.

jkeefer said...

A man can still be empathetic, and still be known as a "manly" man. Showing emotion doesn't knock you down on the hot shot scale.

catherinec said...

Delaney,
I can completely relate. Last night I was finishing a long book and I was eager to finish it. But when I came to the ending, it was so powerful that as I read the last few words I had tears rolling down my cheeks. I had impacked me so much that it made me feel almost the same feelings that the characters were feeling in the book. I had found another form of empathy!

HillaryR said...

The comment about emotional football- I think society expects men to be over-the-top emotional about their sports teams but when it comes to relationships and social dramas they are expected to appear placid.

mollyd said...

I like what Mrs.Moritz said about how men empathize differently. Both men and women empathize but it is different, because men and women think differently.

JSelzer said...

Kelsey- Yes. If you saw a guy cry at the notebook, wouldn't you think of him as less strong?

Tasha P said...

Thank you Hillary.
On that point, I really think we all need to know when the right time is to feel for/with someone. If someone wants to be left alone, then it wouldn't be right for someone to come up and say "I'm sorry for you". Empathy has to be timed right, for it to really be effective. I'm not saying that empathy is unecessary. It's just that sometimes empathy really isn't the best thing to have in certain situation.

delaney n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rachels said...

I agree with stephanief - in many situations it's impossitble to feel the emotions someone else is going through. In cases like having a death in the family, if you haven't lost someone close to you is it possible to feel those same emotions?

matta said...

Jaque

I have to disagree with you in the way that you are equating empathy with emotion, and that empathy will cloud your judgemtent but that could hardly be further from the truth. How would having more understanding about a situation cause you to make poorer desicions? That does not make sense the same way that equating empathy with emotion does. Empathy is mainly understanding, not feeling.

AmberG said...

I think men are empathetic, they just don't like to show it in public as much because it is not really expected of them to do that.

HillaryR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HillaryR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

I've lost the audio feed. But let me ask a question: Why do you think empathy is "natural?" What would be the reasons for it? And is that the capacity that makes humans different from other animals?

jordans said...

Jacgue~

I understand what you're saying and maybe it's just me personally, but in emergencey situations or in times when critical thinking is critical it's hard to control your reactions and emotions. They just seem to naturally take over and you become too overwhelmed to hold them back. But do you think this is a skill that can be taught or refined? How can you learn to control your emotions?

rrapp said...

I agree with jselzer

KelseyL said...

Joe
Not necessarily because if I saw a guy crying at a movie I would think that he was willing to share is emotions and is not worried about people making fun of him or thinking him as not strong

OliviaO said...

Mr Pink,
What do you have to say to the skeptics that dont agree with your book? And also, in your book you say you are more of a left brained person, how can a more left-brained person be prepared for a right brained future?

matta said...

Tasha

that is not empathy. That is sympathy, feeling sorry for someone. If you had EMPATHY for that person then you would know when it would be good to talk to that person, so even in that case empathy is helpful.

RayS said...

MollyD
doesn't every one think difrently?
So why would just sex affect how people empathize.

matthewg said...

Daniel Pink-

In my mind, empathy plays a huge part in all of the other senses. Without empathetic design, you might design something that completely conflicts with what a person wants to use your product for. With story, you can carry a novel or movie along with empathy much better than a lot of guns and explosions.

Sydney said...

Refering back to the inner circle, I agree with Mr. Pink from A Whole New Mind that empathy depends on the individual. There are women who are less empathetic than men, and there are women more often empathetic than men.

Jacque said...

I think women's sense of empathy can often cause friction in relationships.l Sometimes I consciously try not to read too much into someone's words or facial expression. I've seen friendships collapse over a casual word or expression that the other person over-analyzed. While it's important to be empathetic and the power of recognizing someone's emotions is often effective, I actually believe women often employ their sense of empathy too much in their decision-making.

matta said...

Sorry about the caps in my last post, that was the only way I could set that word apart.

Madisont said...

If men try to be empathetic, they are either mistaken to be weaker and be sensitive, or have sympathy for someone which is quite unusual. Men have always been stereotyped to be the stronger link in humans so they try to live up to that reputation.

AustinD said...

Everyone relates to experiences in life (sympathy) which leads to feeling the pain and success of the individual (empathy).

Alexm said...

I agree with Tasha, in some situations empathy can be very important and other times it is not really what the person needs at that moment. It is important to know when to use empathy.

JSelzer said...

Jeffrey- I agree with you a little bit, but men learn that they have to be "strong" and manly from the world around them as well. I heard somewhere that men who are raised by a single mother without a male influence in their lives are prone to show more "womanly" traits.

raelangas said...

By human nature we naturally feel empathetic. It is wired into us to feel empathy for people.

marissas said...

This is Karly:
I agree with the comment made that empathy is just as much attitude as it is character. This also plays in to the whole men verses women thing because even though someone may have an empathetic character they may not let that emotion show through because they have a different attitude about how they should act.

mollyd said...

rays

Everyone does think differently. It is not just sex that affects a person's thoughts. It also based on life experiences and many other aspects of life, such as the way you were brought up. However between men and women I think gender is the biggest differecne.

JSelzer said...

Kelsey- Oh, well I would think of him as a little on the feminine side.

rrapp said...

Dan Pink- I really think it is true that empathy is a human instinct which separates us from animals and other creatures...but wouldn't you agree that sometimes animals do feel for one another?

catherinec said...

Personally I think that men usually only express sympahty and keep the empathy to themselves because they think other people will think they are weak, like jselzer.

Karl Fisch said...

Mr. Pink - I think we have MeBeam back. You might have to try to reenter the room.

rachels said...

Building on something Matt said in the inner circle - empathy can have a negative effect when it causes us to bring ourselves down by feeling bad with other people. If didn't have empathy it would be expremely hard to understand and relate to other people, but sometimes it causes us to not pay attention to our own personal emotions.

Jennifer said...

I think that empathy is what separates humans from other animals. The question has a lot to do with different beliefs, and I don't want to go there, but I do think that there is a significant difference between us and animals, and it has a lot to do with empathy. As for why we have empathy, I don't know. It may just be because we needed something different than animals.

stephanief said...

How do we know when to use empathy instead of sympathy?

delaney n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

oliviao-

1. On the skeptics, there actually haven't been too many of them -- in part, because the book, imho, is fairly well argued. I did read something by someone name Carl Stager. But for the life of me, I can't understand what his beef is -- except that I (and Peter Drucker and Jim Collins and Malcolm Gladwell and Tom Friedman) have never run a 7-11. He seems to say that I'm arguing that "left-brain" skills don't matter -- when, in fact, I go to great extremes to make the opposite case. Oh well. It's cool that people are willing to share their opinions.

2. On the second point, I came to this conclusion is a pretty left-brain way. If you look at the facts, I don't think it's even all that close that the scales are tilting.

shannanp said...

In response to Daniel Pink's question~
I think that the ability to empathize and interact with other human beings definitely makes us different from other animals. I think that empathy is very natural, its kind of like even when you keep other emotions bottled up, empathy is the one that will always come out because that is how we connect to other human beings. Its how we make friends, start relationships and keep them.

marissas said...

On pg. 173 there is a quote that says, " To empathize you need some degree of attatchment in order to recognize that you are interacting with a person, not an object." Do you agree that you have to be attatched to the person in order to empathize with them? Or can you empathize with anybody at all?

Madisont said...

This is Helen:
I don't think men are less empathetic, I think they are less sympathetic. Empathy is shown rather than something you can talk about.

KelseyL said...

Joe

So do you think that men having "womanly" traits because they were brought up by single mothers is bad? Are they not allowed to be emotional?

Jacque said...

matta
I would have to disagree. True empathy and emotion are not interchangeable, but emotion is inexorable if you empathize. The two are not the same, but they do go hand and hand. Also, empathy is not interchangeable with understanding either though.

dermodys said...

As to rraps comment: are there examples of how animals feel or show empathy?

raelangas said...

People show empathy in different ways. To express your empathy you don't have to cry.

Sydney said...

In the Empathy Chapter, in A WHole New Health Care section, Mr. Pink Mentions that nurses generally had high scores. How do you think the male nurses affected this study?

matta said...

Jaque

I agree that emotion and empathy are related, but that does not mean that being empathetic will cause you to have so much emotion that you cannot make rational desicions, I really don't think that very many people can go that far. And the deffinition of empathy is to understand how someone feels and to relate, almost as if you feel the same, but not exactly. The deffintion I have on empathy seems to mean that empathy is a form of understanding

delaney n said...

(Ashley using Delaney's Blog)

Laney, I completely understand your empathy towards the characters in the movie. That is their job as actors and actresses...they want you to feel what they are feeling. To answer your question, no we cannot resist the urge. The answer is in the question, "Can we resist the natural urge to empathize?" No because its natural.

jeffreys said...

jselzer, I would agree (again). The fact that men are generally stronger than women (again, not to sound sterotypical) has been used by the media of today. Men are always precived as being the strong tough guys; even though nobody is exactly like anyone else, sterotypes have made both men and women think that they have to be less or more empathetic and emootional respectivly.

KiraW said...

I think that Lisa has a great point. She asked if we use empathy or sympathy more. I think that we tend to be sympethetic more often. It is easier and we don't really have to take it into our own personal daily life.

AmberG said...

I agree with Rose, there is something that gives humans really strong empathy, but that does not mean that aminals have no way of relating to each other.

Daniel said...

sydney -- don't know. my guess is that male nurses and female nurses would test about the same. but that'd be interesting to study.

AustinD said...

@ stephanief
This is Dennis K:
Empathy is commonly identified as "emotion or feeling" but in reality, a more factual definition provided by the book states that empathy is visualizing from other's perspectives. Sympathy is essentially feeling sorry for another being, empathy can result in sympathy, but the two are different.

Anna K said...

I believe that the way you express your empathy towards someone differs with who you are talking to.

marissas said...

This is Karly:
I think that it is possible to empathize with anyone but the level of connection you have with the person directly relates to how much empathy you have for them. Also it is easy to empathize with someone if you understand and can relate to what they are going through.

Tasha P said...

matta
True, sympathy is not empathy; but I think that sometimes empathy can sort of be interfering too much in someone's life. What if you're feeling with someone and they don't want you to because it's their business? That's being empathic and "meddling" at the same time. I am very empathic, but I don't try to go around feeling with everyone else. I feel with them when they want me to.

RayS said...

Why do we have to know people well in order to feel thoroughly empathietic?

rachels said...

Answering shannan's comment: I don't think we need to be attatched to someone to empathize with them. Empathy is a natural human aptitude that I think we can experience with anyone, even a random person on the street whom you've never seen before.

rrapp said...

dermodys- here are countless examples of animal empathy like when the penguins huddle together to keep each other warm, or when a dog licks a human face to show liking...

matta said...

Mr. Pink

You mentioned Mr. Stager in one of your posts and I would just like to let you know that we live blogger with him last week. If you would like to look at it, it is on moritzhonors0708.blogspot.com

jkeefer said...

Sydney- male nurses learn to give off more empathy in different cases. They could eventually raise themselves to the emotional level of the female nurses if they wanted to. That field of work involves quite a bit of empathy!

delaney n said...

Daniel- You tell us that we have to improve our sense of empathy. In what way can we go about that? What can we do to strengthen that sense?

Madisont said...

This is Helen

Volunteering allows you to phsically put yourself in some one else's position, which leads to emotionally putting yourself in another's situation.

JSelzer said...

Kelsey- No, I think it's good. Men should become more empathetic, as it would help them to be succesful in the work world, and solve a lot of the whole world's problems. I'm just saying they've been taught to hide their feelings.

matta said...

Tasha

Yes I agree. You can be empathetic all of the time, but it is necessary to decide when to act on it.

KelseyL said...

Rays

I don't think that you have to fully know someone to be empathetic towards them. I think that if you saw someone you didn't know crying or something, you would feel empathetic towards them because they are crying and you would want to try to make them feel better or wonder why they are crying.

Daniel said...

delaney -- check out the exercises in the portfolio sections. lots of interesting stuff there.

OliviaO said...

Mr. Pink,
Will there still be a need for lawyers and doctors and accountants in the future? I was planning on being a lawyer when I grow up. Should people still pursue jobs like those? And thank you for blogging with us! Its surreal to read your book one day and be able to talk to the author the next. And also, where did you get the inspiration for A Whole New Mind?

dermodys said...

Good examples, I personally would have never thought of those. But rose do you think that those are examples of empathy or animal instinct because doesn't a dog also lick its bone or don't penguins need to keep warm themselves?

Oliviak said...

How can you sharpen your empathy skills?

jordans said...

JSelzer~

How do you personallyt view feminine and empathetic men? How can they compare and contrast to more masculine guys?

AustinD said...

We don't have to know someone well to feel empathetic. We overhear and eavsdrop on strangers conversation and we still feel how good or bad their feeling. Dennis also brought up a point that we empathise with movie charicters when they triumph or fail.

hredmond said...

One of Jaque's older points was that women often employ their sense of empathy too often. While I strongly agree with this comment, I also think most of this is subconscious. When I read into someone's facial expression or tone of voice, I can't necessarily turn off that sense. You make a good point though Jaque, women have that "women's intuision" you will and sometimes that is detrimental in relationships and social settings.

Alexm said...

Jason,
I agree with your comment I think that male nurses, if they are not empathetic yet, learn to be empathetic because they will be more successful in the field if they are empathetic. They could also learn empathy from other female nurses.

raelangas said...

rays- We do not have to know someone to feel empathy for them. When I watch a movie like the Titanaic I do not know any of those people but I still cry every time I watch the movie. Or when you here a tragic story on the news you feel empathitic for them.

KelseyL said...

Joe

But before you said that if you saw a man crying at the notebook that you would think of him as a little on the feminine. When is it okay for men to show their emotion, when is it seen as not feminine

Jennifer said...

I kind of agree with Amber and Rose and I kind of disagree. I'm sure that animals care for each other and take care of each other, but I don't think that is empathy so much. I think it is more animal instinct like Sabrina said.

delaney n said...

Daniel- What about outside of the portfolio? Are there any simple tricks you have for us to do in everyday life that would build empathy on a daily basis? I know there is one about "Empathizing on the Job," but since we don't work, that one is a little difficult...

Anna K said...

I agree with Sydney that it's not that women are more empathetic then men. It's the individuals. Some men can be a lot more empathetic then some women.

KiraW said...

hredmond-
I agree, I think that it is a bit of a subconsious thing. Women often are the more empathetic when they are not even thinking about it.

Daniel said...

OliviaO--Yes. We'll still have plenty of lawyers and accountants. But here's the key: What they actually do will change. They won't be doing routine, rule-based work. Instead, the elements of their jobs that remain will be those things that are hard to outsource and hard to automate. Lawyers and accountants will have to get better at empathy, storytelling, design, and so on.

Madisont said...

rae- are you basing feeling bad for someone on the news on empathy? because remember, sympathy is just when you feel bad for that person or want to help them but can't and empathy is when you can sincerely imagine yourself in that situation.. it helps you understand them better

Jacque said...

matta-
I would definitely define empathy as "feeling with someone else" not understanding. If you're feeling all of their overwhelming emotions, it can be a detriment to your abilities to act decisively in certain situations.

Jordan-
Thoughtful questions...
I think one way to reign in emotions is exposure. For example, if someone is constantly exposed to death and blood (in a hospital for example), their emotions when they witness these horrors will become less and less strong and blinding over time.

Jacque said...

matta-
I would definitely define empathy as "feeling with someone else" not understanding. If you're feeling all of their overwhelming emotions, it can be a detriment to your abilities to act decisively in certain situations.

Jordan-
Thoughtful questions...
I think one way to reign in emotions is exposure. For example, if someone is constantly exposed to death and blood (in a hospital for example), their emotions when they witness these horrors will become less and less strong and blinding over time.

jkeefer said...

Can you feel with someone, or is it considered feeling for them?

rrapp said...

it's always OK for men to show emotion they just have to decipher whether or not they feel secure enough to do that without being held to the "male tough" standard

Daniel said...

Saying that women are more empathic than men is a bit like saying that men are taller than women. It doesn't meant that all men are taller than all women. But it means that *in general* men are taller than women.

AmberG said...

In responce to Jennifer and Sabrina, we can not know exactly what animals are thinking and we can't talk to them so who are we to say whether it is empathy, sympathy, or love?

jordans said...

Should empathy and attraction (not just physical) be viewed as going hand in hand? If we're saying that empathy is natural and attraction has been viewed as a natural and uncontrolable sense should they be related or relevant towards each other?

marissas said...

Rae-
When you watch these movies and hear these stories do you feel empathy or sympathy?

catherinec said...

Mr. Pink,
Will the left-brain jobs just become more right-brain oriented?

JSelzer said...

Kelsey- O.k., you schooled me. I think that's the problem with our world though; guys (like me) are afraid to show their feelings and empathy because they will be viewed as feminine, but they need that empathy to adavance in the world.

mollyd said...

olivia k

I think you can sharpen your empathy skiils by putting yourself in situations where you can experience other's problems. A good example is volunteering like the inner circle was saying. You can also talk to people and find out about what they are going through.

rachels said...

jacque - don't you think "feeling with someone else" results in understanding?

Madisont said...

This is Helen

I think that having experienced what someone has gone through can make you less empathetic. You start to relate their situation to yours and your emotions are more for what you went through. If you are feeling just raw emotion with the other person it lets you be more empathetic.

Oliviak said...

I have a question how does empathy relate to the other senses?

Dennis K said...

In response to Jenifer:

Animal instinct in the form of empathy is what keeps an ecosystem functional. An organism witnesses the death of a companion and empathizes with it; it then understands its fate if it were not to flee.

matthewg said...

Are empathy and sympathy the same thing? Is sympathy a part of empathy or are they separate?

raelangas said...

jkeefer- I beleive that when you feel with someone you have experienced what they are experiencing. When you feel for someone you do not really understand what they are going through.

RayS said...

Jordans
I believe all natural feelings and senses should go hand in hand not just empathy and attraction.

matta said...

Jaque

When you say feeling with someone else what do you mean. When I read that to me it means that you are feeling what they are feeling. Would that not give you an understanding in that case? I still don't think most people can be so empathetic that they feel exactly the feelings of another, usually it is toned down enough that you are still rational and use your understanding to your benifit. I ask you, when has another's feelings caused you to become so emotional that you do something you regret later?

Tasha P said...

I agree with Mr. Pink.
It's "in general" that women are considered more empathetic than men. It's kind of like a stereotypical assumption that has grown worldwide.

Anna K said...

Marissa- empathy is being able to feel what someone is feeling. When I watch a movie, I feel like I'm the character and I feel empathetic towards them.

CatherineD said...

I think that with men showing emotion it is a matter of security. If the guy is comfortable in his own shoes he will show emotion. In gerneral I don't think that people are insecure so few males do show emotion.

marissas said...

I think that empathy can be connected to many of the other senses in the book. It is a neccessity in design because you have to put your self in the shoes of the buyers to know what they want in a product. It is also a part of story because when you hear a story you put yourself in their shoes and relate to them.

delaney n said...

Joe-
(ashley using laney's blog)
I'm wondering if maybe men, you as an example, have enough empathy, but you hide it. There may be no need for any more empathy, but women as a whole believe men are less empathetic because they are not as open about it.

Jennifer said...

Matthew G- I actually think that sympathy is one of the first layers of empathy. I think you first need to feel for someone before you can "feel with someone".

jeffreys said...

matthewg, I think that sympathy and empathy are two different things, but they are very connected. To me, sympathy is feeling bad for someone who is in pain or going through a hard time or something like that. Empathy is more being able to relate to someone else's situation, good or bad.

dermodys said...

As to the inner circle discussion I agree with Matt. I think teachers job is to teach and its a bit of a problem when they are part time. With most part time teachers I tend to see that most of there day is focused on their kids or family instead of their jobs. Which is a problem for example:when a test that could be graded in about 2 hours takes 5 days to grade and get back it starts to look pretty bad.

rrapp said...

marissas- I totally feel for characters in movies because thats a great empathy tester, if you don't feel for a character I don't think you have a good empathy capacity at ALL

Jacque said...

RachelS~
Yes! Empathy and understanding go hand and hand (just like emotion and empathy). But to say Empathy IS understanding would be incorrect.

Tashap~
I agree, that this is a general sterotype, though I do want to point out that sterotypes are often based on truth. It is when we overapply these sterotypes that we can get into trouble...

shannanp said...

I think that being empathetic to teachers can definitely affect how we learn and what we take away from that class. If we put ourselves into our teachers shoe's, then we can realize how hard the teachers are trying to perfect their lesson plan's and the reasons that they want us to do assignments and take tests.

KelseyL said...

Catherine

I totally agree with you I think that men are afraid of showing emotion because they are afraid of what other people will think of them and don't want to be known as the guy who cries.

Daniel said...

DennisK says "An organism witnesses the death of a companion and empathizes with it; it then understands its fate if it were not to flee."

That's exactly right. This is why empathy is part of what it means to be human -- or perhaps part of what it means to be alive.

KiraW said...

matthewg
I think that empathy and sympathy are closely intertwined. They depend on each other to function.

CatherineD said...

This is Holly Bishop.

I think that empathy and symphony go hand in hand. Without being sympathatic, you can't really be empathatic.

stephanief said...

I think that we think of men as being less empathetic because we have always thought of them as being strong and manly, while women are very emotional. We don't realize how many men are emotional though, I know a lot of guys who aren't afraid to cry and show how they feel.

hredmond said...

Jordan-
Your question about the relation between attraction and empathy is very interesting! I see where you are coming from but I don't believe the two are any more related than two different fruits: they both come from trees but aren't really much related past that. Empathy is such a different emotion than attraction, though both could be discribes as "feeling for someone." Interesting thought though...

delaney n said...

Jennifer and Jeffreys-
I feel like sympathy and empathy are like the relationship between a square and a rectangle...

A square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square.
Empathy always involves sympathy, but sympathy does not equal enpathy.

Madisont said...

This is Helen

I find that a person's level of empathy depends on the circumstances. I have more empathy with a Holocaust victim that I know nothing about than with my best friend after she's gone through a bad breakup.

Alexm said...

Are good actors good empathizers?

matta said...

this is sethd

do you think that women are naturally more empathetic or do you think that men need to be less empathetic to cope with the rest of the male population? Has the need for men to be macho and tough taken away from the ablitity to empathize?

matthewg said...

I think that empathy and sympathy are pretty confusing. They're very similar, and can be regarded as the same thing, but at the same time, I see them as different things, like Jeffrey said.

AmberG said...

Marissas- I agree, empathy is a great way to get a product to sell. If you know what your buyer wants, really wants, that tactict could work very well.

raelangas said...

When I hear these stories I feel empatheic for them because I try to relate to them and see how I would feel if i was in this situation. I heard a story on the news about a mom who was killed and I imagine how I would feel if I did not have my mom.

raelangas said...

When I hear these stories I feel empatheic for them because I try to relate to them and see how I would feel if i was in this situation. I heard a story on the news about a mom who was killed and I imagine how I would feel if I did not have my mom.

jkeefer said...

Alex, yes in some ways, the best actors can show the best empathy, but in other cases, some of the best actors can get so caught up in the money, and the fame, that they somewhat forget about the real world, and what is happening in it.

mollyd said...

Actors are not really empathizers. They are more just playing the role. When you act you are not really feeling for the character and understanding their problems, you are just pretending.

CatherineD said...

People keep talking about the layers of empathy. Is this a personal thing of defining empathy or is it more of a generic type definintion of the layers of empathy?

rachels said...

I agree with kiraw - although empathy and sympathy have two different definitions, they are closely related. In order to feel what someone else is feeling, you have to also sympathize with what they're going through.

Tasha P said...

I agree with Hillary, there is a distinct difference between attraction and empathy. Attraction is more like feelings for someone/something. Empathy is clearly defined in the book as feelings with someone else's feelings.

AmberG said...

(this is Jennifer and Amber) Delany- we think that is a really good way of looking at the relationship between sympathy and empathy.

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