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Empath 101: A Basic Primer On Life As An Empath Mobi Download Book



Before a mediator can expect to obtain clear and accurate information about the conflict from a party who is emotionally distraught, it is necessary to enable that party to engage in a cathartic process, according to Lyman S. Steil,[6] a former president of the American Listening Association. He defines catharsis as "the process of releasing emotion, the ventilation of feelings, the sharing of problems or frustrations with an empathic listener. Catharsis," he continues, "basically requires an understanding listener who is observant to the cathartic need cues and clues. People who need catharsis will often give verbal and non-verbal cues, and good listeners will be sensitive enough to recognize them. Cathartic fulfillment is necessary for maximized success" at all other levels of communication.




Empath 101: A Basic Primer On Life As An Empath mobi download book


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Providing empathic responses to two or more parties to the same conflict should not present a problem for a mediator who follows the basic principles of active listening. The mediator demonstrates objectivity and fairness by remaining non-judgmental throughout the negotiation, giving the parties equal time and attention and as much time as each needs to express themselves.


The ability to listen with empathy may be the most important attribute of interveners who succeed in gaining the trust and cooperation of parties to intractable conflicts and other disputes with high emotional content. Among its other advantages, as Burley-Allen points out, empathic listening has empowering qualities. Providing an opportunity for people to talk through their problem may clarify their thinking as well as provide a necessary emotional release. Thomas Gordon agrees that active listening facilitates problem-solving and, like Burley-Allen's primer on listening,[10] Gordon's "Leadership Effectiveness Training"[11] provides numerous exercises and suggestions for those seeking to strengthen their listening skills.


The neuroscience of empathy has enormously expanded in the past two decades, thereby making instrumental progress for the understanding of neural substrates involved in affective and cognitive aspects of empathy. Yet, these conclusions have relied on ultrasimplified tasks resulting in the affective/cognitive dichotomy that was often modeled and overemphasized in pathological, developmental, and genetic studies of empathy. As such, the affective/cognitive model of empathy could not straightforwardly accommodate and explain the recent surge of neuroscientific data obtained from studies employing naturalistic approaches and intergroup conditions. Inspired by phenomenological philosophy, this article paves the way for a new scientific perspective on empathy that breaks thorough the affective/cognitive dichotomy. This neuro-phenomenological account leans on phenomenological analyses and can straightforwardly explain recent neuroscience data. It emphasizes the dynamic, subjective, and piecemeal features of empathic experiences and unpicks the graded nature of empathy. The graded empathy hypothesis postulates that attending to others' expressions always facilitates empathy, but the parametric modulation in the levels of the empathic experience varies as a function of one's social interest (e.g., via intergroup or inter-personal cues) in the observed other. Drawing on multiple resources that integrate neuroscience with phenomenology, we describe the potential of this graded framework in an era of real-life experimentation. By wearing lenses of neuro-phenomenology, this original perspective can change the way empathy is considered.


Figure 1. Illustration of the neuro-phenomenological graded empathy framework. The first level of empathy is elicited by the empathic encounter (evoking a minimal neural response). If there is social interest in the target, enhanced neural activity is elicited (involving heightened complexity in terms of neural rhythms and sources), while during intense social cohesion (the target is perceived in group contexts), the neural response is further amplified while conveying patterns of neural cohesion. Real-life examples (i.e., the Boulevard and the Protest examples) are provided in The Phenomenological Account of Graded Empathy section of the manuscript to further illustrate the three levels.


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