Powerful Empathy #3

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In the previous articles, I explain how we can implement empathy through our actions and during conversations or encounters that might bring elevated temper in heated discussions.

In the study of Human Social Cognition and with the rise of trends in social media, Negative Partisanship is creating negative results through false advertising and different voices on the internet. The splitting of American politics into two coherent ideological parties with very little programmatic overlap changes things.

Voters who are fundamentally attached to one party or to the other are not going to abandon their team merely because their party has held office for too many terms, or because the other party’s president is presiding over a nice recovery. Those factors are not meaningless because some swing voters do still exist. Yet these temporal effects are muted. I urge you to never forget to breathe, we as a people collectively experience similar notions when we face similar frustrations. And here we are, deeply connected and rooted.

Yet red America is typing away online to red Americans and blue America is typing away to blue America striating and creating new and different Americas, where the red and blue are separating entities defying the notion that America is founded on the conceptions of assimilation and integration.

Call us as you may, the millennial groups, generation C which identifies as (a powerful new force in consumer culture. It is a term we use to describe people who care deeply about creation, curation, connectivity, and community. It is not an age group; it is an attitude and mindset defined by key characteristics) are striving to build bridges and knock down unnecessary walls.

We are experiencing, during conversations, a default suggested outburst of “vote for my guy – no questions asked – and if you oppose my decision then we no longer are on the same side.” This can be traced back to the notions of tribal construction and organization.

The sentiment of relocating to places to live among those who share similar political views. This sense of privilege in tribal belonging encloses creativity and lack of open-source knowledge left among those who care about their town and community leadership.

The notion of tribal feeling and sense of belonging and entitlement has been around for centuries, and there is no arguing that it might continue indefinitely. Pioneers in Political Science suggest that social conservative groups are pre-dispositioned to racism and authoritarian behavior by becoming more race-segregated denying cultural similarities to different groups for protection. But protecting it from whom? There is, in fact, a strong case to be made that a prime concern of government is the security of state power from the population.

If you need to dissolve a situation I suggest you think of applying Powerful Empathy by implementing motivational reasoning; an emotion-biased decision-making phenomenon studied in cognitive science and social psychology. Decision-making and attitudes change in a number of paradigms, which I would enjoy digging further in the future. Basically, confirmation bias is a result of a moral psychology that leans towards the notion of defending one’s reputation by manipulating the other using a “my team versus your team” rhetoric.

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Corruption in public procurement is not just about money. It also reduces the quality of work or services and it can cost lives. People in many countries have paid a terrible price for collapsed buildings and counterfeit medicines. It is important to recognize that the thinking still holds, worldwide. The end result? Our trust in our leaders is eroded. The solution? The answer requires further knowledge and research of the status-quo, and a lot of work, like a lot of work. There is much more to say, but historical records demonstrate very clearly that the standard doctrine has little merit. Empathy in the normal sense is not a prominent factor in policy formation.

I call for actualizing a new form of empathy. Empathy is often exercised by those who want to and tend to – feel the other’s pain – and connect to classes of the victim. But when does empathy become the hardest form to exercise? When empathy is intertwined with disgust and disregard to the emotional state of the different side. How can one communicate the switch of the brain to its former state and bring down the bridge?

Emotional Intelligence creates the ability to connect and recognize powerful accessibility of tools through resources, our structural-thinking-methods, to see the other as a person, as a whole, and as an independent character. We are living in a moment where digital and emotional intelligence grants power and superiority to those who can utilize these tools to their advantages and appreciate the benefits of technology.

I received an email this morning from Seth Godin and his words genuinely make my day:

“Sorry” doesn’t mean you caused the pain. It merely means that you see it, that you’ve felt pain before in your life as well, that you are open to a connection.

Our ability to bring people along is critical because we’re playing a long game, even an infinite one. Back and forth, day by day, with many of the same people. One day, it will be reversed, and a classmate or coworker or competitor will be the one that can listen and care about the pain. A pain that might feel very similar.

Gloating or silence closes the door. Empathy, on the other hand, and the action of speech, of moderation, of connection, can change everything. And if it hasn’t been present before, it can start right now.

“I see you. I’m sorry for what you’re feeling. How can I help?”

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