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  • Writer's pictureKaren Peabody, LICSW

Finding Empathy in a Climate of Self Absorption

It is no secret the world is struggling. People are at their wit's end, divided by politics, preference, and personal agenda. It is easy to lash out, projecting our fears and helplessness into anger towards our opposition. We see this displayed in the media and on the internet. It has become an expected exchange. These interactions have seemed to have even lost the intent to inform, sway, or educate. The exchange is to emotionally harm the other side. The words slice the victim and retaliation is the only recourse... the rock fight continues. You have witnessed these exchanges, maybe even found yourself caught in the cross-hairs of verbal warfare. If you have found yourself enraged at others for their opinions, there is a clinical term for that, "Self Absorption". Self Absorption is the lack of empathy and identification to the outside world thus creating a limited perspective. This perspective is cast onto the world and the people in it. The lack of empathy is the driving force with this concept. This factor prohibits higher-level brain activity, mainly the mirror neurons. Mirror neurons trigger empathy. Empathy is a concept that allows people to feel what other people are feeling. This is a human connection that allows you to emotionally be present with anyone. You do not have to agree with why they feel the feelings, you are just bearing witness to someone and acknowledging their feelings. To allow people to be seen and support allows people to create mutual empathy. This is a chain reaction that can be pass through generations, cultures, and political parties. Empathy has no agenda. It is just one of the energetic and emotional ways humans can connect, even when they don't agree.

Karen Peabody, LICSW is a therapist and business consultant for social workers and therapists interested in starting their private practice. She founded Forgewell Solutions in East Bridgewater, MA. Her office is a great place to start a private practice. Visit her FOR THERAPISTS page to learn more.


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