Dr. Brené Brown: "The Power of Empathy"

Posted by Danielle Cox on 2/4/2016 to Self
Dr. Brené Brown:

     I love listening to Brené Brown’s Ted Talks, and I have recently discovered these beautiful animations, illustrating her already powerful storytelling ability. This may be the first in a series of posts that center around Brown’s research in Empathy, Shame and Vulnerability. The videos are short, but enough to chew on for a few days.

     I’ve always thought of Empathy and Sympathy as both equally good things. This talk explains the difference between the two, and the difference is greater than I thought. As Brené explains; Empathy fuels connection while Sympathy drives disconnection. I had never thought of it that way, and once she explained how crucial the difference is I had such an "aha" moment that I had to share and post. I now understand why I can have such a volatile response from a friend when I merely try and point out the silver lining of their situation, rather than climbing into the dark and feeling their pain alongside them. Sympathy allows me to remain emotionally distant though I may feel I have done my social duty for a hurting friend. True Empathy forces me to press into the discomfort, however, this is how I can truly connect to another person, and for them to feel an equally powerful human connection to me. Connection, as Brené explains in her various talks, is neurologically and biologically essential for human beings. Comment down below and let us know what you want to see more of!


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