Empathy: A Lazy Person’s Guide is a light-hearted look at a significant and engaging matter: how to expand empathy in the individual and the community – and do so without working too hard. The Guide includes twenty eight illustrations by the celebrated artist Alex Zonis. So if you get tired of reading, look at the pictures! Practically an art book, get a summary in line below and order the book here and now by clicking here: Empathy: A Lazy Person’s Guide.
Given current events (Q2 2020), go straight to the section on applying empathy to soothe anger and rage – and setting empathic limits to drive out bullying, prejudice, and bad behavior. In addition –
A lazy person’s guide to empathy guides you in –
- Performing a readiness assessement for empathy
- Cleaning up your messes one relationship at a time.
- Defining empathy as a multi-dimensional process.
- Empathy in the age of coronavirus – don’t miss it!
- Overcoming the Big Four empathy breakdowns.
- Applying introspection as the royal road to empathy.
- Identifying natural empaths who don’t get enough empathy – and getting them [oneself] the empathy one needs.
- The one-minute empathy training. [No kidding!]
- Compassion fatigue: A radical proposal to overcome it.
- Listening: Hearing what the other person is saying versus your opinion of what she is saying.
- Distinguishing what happened versus what you made it mean.
- Applying empathy to sooth anger and rage.
- Good fences (not walls!) make good neighbors: About boundaries.
- How and why empathy is good for one’s well-being.
- Empathy and humor.Empathy, capitalist tool.
- Empathy: A method of data gathering.
- Empathy: A dial, not an “on-off” switch.
- Assessing your therapist,.
- Applying empathy in every encounter with the other person – and just being with other people without anything else added.
- Empathy as the new love – so what was the old love?
The lazy person’s guide to empathy offers a bold idea: empathy is not an “off-off” switch, but a dial or tuner. The person going through the day on “automatic pilot” needs to “tune up” or “dial up” her or his empathy to expand relatedness and communication with other people and in the community.
Practicing empathy includes finding your sense of balance, especially in relating to people. In a telling analogy, you cannot get a sense of balance in learning to ride a bike simply by reading the owner’s manual. Yes, strength is required, but if you get too tense, then you apply too much force in the wrong direction and you lose your balance. You have to keep a “light touch.” You cannot force an outcome. If you are one of those individuals who seem always to be trying harder when it comes to empathy, throttle back. Hit the pause button. Take a break.
Empathy is about balance: emotional balance, interpersonal balance and community balance. Empathy training is all about practicing balance: You have to strive in a process of trail and error and try again to find the right balance. So “lazy person’s guide” is really trying to say “laid back person’s guide.” The “laziness” is not lack of energy, but well-regulated, focused energy, applied in balanced doses. The risk is that some people – and you know who you are – will actually get stressed out trying to be lazy. Cut that out! Just let it be.
The natural empath – or persons experiencing compassion fatigue – may usefully “tune down” their empathy. But how does one do that?
The short answer is, “set firm boundaries.” Good fences (fences, not walls!) make good neighbors; but there is gate in the fence over which is inscribed the welcoming word “Empathy.”
The longer answer is: The training and guidance provided by this book – as well as the tips and techniques along the way – are precisely methods for adjusting empathy without turning it off and becoming hard-hearted or going overboard and melting down into an ineffective, emotional puddle.
Empathy can break down, misfire, go off the rails in so many ways. Only after empathy breakdowns and misfirings of empathy have been worked out and ruled out – emotional contagion, conformity, projection, superficial agreement in words getting lost in translation – only then does the empathy “have legs”. Find out how to overcome the most common empathy breakdowns and break through to expanded empathy – and enriched humanity – in satisfying, fulfilling relationships in empathy.
Okay – I have read enough – I would like to order the book: click here: Empathy: A Lazy Person’s Guide.
(c) Lou Agosta, PhD and the Chicago Empathy Project