Tag: Empathy

Two types of pain

33- 10 Sept 17- Two types of painEach of us must have experienced both forms of pain at various points in our life. The pain that hurts us can be physical pain or psychological pain. Physical pain, unless it is a permanent pain, is often forgotten once we are physically healed. The psychological pain on the other hand tends to remain with us for a much longer time, perhaps in some cases even lifelong. The trauma of pain that hurts is now better managed by medication, counseling and therapy, yet the experience often leaves an individual  scarred, bitter at times and definitely wary of going through the agony once again.

The same pain that we experience be it physical or psychological, can be channelized by every individual by using the right attitude and thinking to become a life changing experience. Not just life changing for the individual but also life changing for the people around, the circle of influence we can reach out to. The very essence of pain management is an excellent example of it. It is the result of years of experimentation and research done by individuals who dealt with people in pain and decided to reach out to alleviate the pain of such people. However, although most of us as individuals may not have the technical expertise to do the same, each of us can develop the right attitude and thinking to change our approach to managing our pain as well as the pain of those around us.

Accept what cannot be changed This is the toughest part of managing pain. Embracing the inevitable, making peace with the reality and looking at pain from the prism of positivity would enable an individual to accept the unchangeable faster and more whole heartedly. Death of a loved one, the loss of a limb or a physical transformation due to an accident or having an incurable disease like MND would require the individual to accept the reality that life is altered forever. Once an individual makes peace with this reality, reorienting the thinking is a relatively easier process.

Channelize your pain to transform your life – Be it your pain or you being a part of another’s pain would always impact your life. If a close friend or family member is in any type of pain, it impacts you also. You need to channelize the pain into seeing it as a way to learn some lessons be it reorienting your thinking or being made aware of people who you took for granted as being more dependable or finding your hidden reservoir of strength to mange yourself.

Empathize with those in pain – Be there for people who are in pain. Comfort them by your understanding, presence and patience. Divert their minds to pleasant thoughts, beautiful memories of the past and give them hope. Let them know that you share their suffering and that you would like to share their burden. Understanding the trauma of those in the throes of psychological pain is very tough because we tend to use logic or rationalize it. However, emotions run a lot deeper and they remain simmering within the individual. It is essential that those around try and draw the person out of his/ her trauma, reassure them of getting their life back on track and show them hope in the future. This can dull the pain, the fear and inject in them a strong desire to make a stronger comeback.

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional – This is the mantra that each one should adopt and share. Each of us will experience a variety of pain in varying degrees. We need to quickly get to grips with it and try to mitigate it by dwelling less on the suffering and instead focusing on how it is changing you to become stronger, more resilient and helping you discover your inner strength.

Try these

  1. List out 5 activities that give you maximum pain. The challenge is to confront each of them and to jot down the learning from it each time you confronted it.
  2. Attempt one or more of the following:
  • Visit an elderly / lonely neighbor once a week
  • Go to the local hospital and ask the social worker how you can help out
  • You can also visit a hospice or old age home or a home for the challenged
  • Visit a nearby park and notice people who seem alone/ lonely. See if you can strike a conversation with them and bring a smile to their face.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

A true measure of your worth

36-your-real-worth

Physical wealth, be it money and possessions are a good measure to judge how financially secure a person is. It is also a great asset to lead a reasonably good and comfortable life. It is also a good magnet to attract friends and widen one’s social circle. It is also a good inducement to garner support, influence opinion and climb ups the social ladder. However, physical wealth would be a poor indicator of a person’s true worth. This is because wealth can be created, acquired or inherited  but wealth can never buy reputation and good will which has to be earned, respect and recognition which comes from a deep appreciation of the individual in you, your sense of fair play and justice which comes from personal values and your emotional balance and empathy for others which comes from the heart.

We need to examine these a little more in detail to understand an individual’s true worth.

Reputation and goodwill : It take a life time to build a reputation and goodwill. It comes from doing the right things at the right time, avoiding the undesirable and being perceived as someone who is dependable, principled and balanced. It based on the general perception people have of an individual over a long period of time. It is often reflected in the simplicity, humility and achievements of an individual and society’s perception of these qualities.

Respect and Recognition: Respect and recognition comes with age and maturity. How a person has grown personally and professionally would have a large bearing on this. It could also come from the insightful contribution of the individual in his social and professional environment and the positive influence he/ she has had on those around them.

Fair play and justice: Displaying fair play and justice comes largely from being principled and this in turn is largely influenced by one’s upbringing, personal values and courage of conviction. The ability to hold a minority view point, the daring to express a dissenting note and tuning one’s moral compass in the direction of what is the truth.

Emotional balance and empathy: This is tougher to judge for individuals can display a different personality in private and be very different in public. However one cannot keep a quick temper, a giant size ego, a negative aura or a irrational outbursts only in the private space. How one deals with those at your mercy, with those who look up to you for support, those who differ from you in thought word and deed are primary pointers to an individual’s emotional balance and empathy.

When you attend a funeral where there is a large turnout, do you see some of the above points being reflected in that deceased persons life and it being a prominent reason for the large turnout?  Perhaps these are also critical considerations for others who will part with their last penny if ever you seek their help. Therein lies your real worth; what others value you for.

Try these:

  1. List out 5 qualities / values/ traits that you think others really value in you. Jot out a couple of qualities/ values / traits / habits that others criticize you for. What can you do improve upon those criticisms?
  2. What are the few social problems that really irritate and annoy you? What have you done about it? Is there anything more you can do about it?
  3. How will you deal with the following:
  • You answered 6 questions instead of 5 which was the norm. The teacher corrected all the answers and erroneously added the marks of the sixth question to the total as a result of which you passed the exam. Would you bring the error to the teachers notice or ignore it?
  • You are cleaning your cupboard and come across a book you had a borrowed from a college mate five years. When the college mate asked you return the book, since you could not find it, you lied to him/ her that you had returned it. The friend was upset with you since he/she did not recollect you returning the book.  A couple of years have gone by since that incident and you are not in touch with that college mate but you do know in which city he/ she is. Would you pick up courage to return the book and apologize to that friend? Alternatively what would you do?
  • You are on an outstation trip and while walking you stumble upon a wallet containing Rs.15,000. In that wallet you find some torn papers listing out a couple of names of individuals. It also has a dry cleaners bill of a certain city and a tailors bill of another city. The names on both these bills are different. Both the bills do not have any telephone numbers on it. What will you do?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Leave a little sparkle

15- Leave a little sparkle

Most of us go through life feeling that we are just one in a crowd and that no one ever notices us nor values us. Yes it is true that parents would always have a special place for their kids but even that is often liberally sprinkled with do’s and don’ts and an incompleteness that suggests we need to still exceed their expectations.  As a result, we are often trying to match up to expectations, trying to prove a point to others and do not really offer to the world around liberally of our talents, our abilities and our real self. The reality is that our individuality has much to offer that is unique and that is valued by others. It is the little things that we do, that is more significant than the convoluted efforts we make to impress others and gain approval. By being ourselves we are more natural, caring, feeling and expressive.  There is always a lot of sparkle that we leave behind when we are natural not artificial, genuine not put on and when we can freely offer of our self without expectations from others.

Our natural self is often influenced by our upbringing, our family values and the inputs in our formative years in school and social settings. Our own attitudes, beliefs and thinking too have a major bearing on how our personality shapes up. There is a lot of positivity, goodness, care and concern that we are born with but these can be reinforced or negated by influences as we grow up. There is so much that we offer the world around that is valued, appreciated and eagerly sought for without us being conscious about it. So what is it that we can offer spontaneously, amply and freely that will always sparkle up our environment and the people around us?

A smile is obviously the most obvious and easiest sparkle that we can share with others. With a smile we acknowledge another person in a warm way. It is a sure way to state we notice the other person and a way to silently inform that we appreciate their presence. Very often it is also the beginning of a communication and possibly a friendship and a connect. A warm genuine smile brightens up the environment, lightens the mood and livens up the spirit.

Appreciation is something that every individual seeks. It is also something that can be easily given for there is a lot to appreciate in others. We tend to be stingy with our appreciation mainly because we are not aware how effective it is in creating a bond and building up relationships. Appreciation must not be confused with flattery. Appreciation is a genuine expression of a good sentiment towards an other. It can be simply an appreciation of the good work done by someone or your acknowledgment of something good in the other person. The best appreciation is when we respond positively to the individual concerned but we can also be appreciative of the person in a forum or setting where the person is not present.

Empathy is our ability to understand and feel a person’s pain and if possible to act decisively to mitigate it by our actions. Empathy goes a step beyond sympathy in that we don’t merely understand the others pain but we also attempt to walk with the person in discomfort and try to alleviate the pain to the extent possible. We are active participants in the process of healing for the others. This is difficult to spontaneously do because we often tend to hold back our feelings and expect others to ask us for our support.

Encouragement is a simple yet powerful technique that enables one to motivate and support others thereby leaving our little sparkle in their lives. Lots of people constantly need support in their emotional life as well as in coping with the stress of failures. Often they blame themselves for their inability to cope with the challenges they face. As a friend or well wisher or even as a bystander we can perhaps try and take a detached view and offer encouragement to the individual concerned and motivate him/ her to have fresh perspective and try again. With our encouragement we rekindle hope in them and they begin to pursue with greater vigour.

Support comes in many forms. Encouragement is also a form of support. However it is the support that we lend in practical terms like financial support at crucial times, being with them physically when they are in trouble, like when are involved in a calamity, that is really cherished.  One could also support by putting in a word to influencers who can help their cause or just being with them when they are at their lowest depth psychologically and emotionally. Even if we cannot support them directly we must be able to at least guide them to find support or suggest to them alternatives to explore. Even the tiniest of support offered is the little sparkle that you offer them.

Keeping in touch has become easy nowadays because of technology. Yet, it is the personal touch that one craves for. Wishing people or expressing sympathy or forwarding messages through the electronic means has become so easy that it is done with little or no personalization or feeling. The real touch is in our ability to talk, meet, getting together and in giving surprises to those around. This does take both time and effort, but it is the time and effort we invest in keeping in touch that sets us apart from the others. The sparkle that we leave behind is the memories of those wonderful moments when personal touch actually touched the heart. The sparkle of those memories would always be cherished and would always remain priceless.

Try these:

In addition to the above explore how you can leave a sparkle through the following

  • Your manners
  • Your etiquettes
  • Your initiative
  • Your impartiality and fairness
  • Your tone/ language/ conduct
  • Your talents / abilities
  • Your wit/ humor/ presence of mind

 List out the following

  • Names of 2 individuals (other than immediate family) who have deeply influenced you.
  • Recollect 2 wonderful moments from your life where someone played an important part in making it memorable.
  • Can you remember at least 2 incidences where your involvement in some way made a person thrilled and ever grateful for your presence.
  • Are there memories of times when you did not get the appreciation /support or encouragement that you sought from someone? Do you still feel bad about it?
  • Do you remember an embarrassing moment/s when you backed out from offering support / encouragement to someone who placed his/ her faith in you?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Identifying people who have a positive influence

When one looks back on the days gone by, there will be some people and some incidents that you will recall with great fondness. Focus on these people whose memories always bring a smile to the lips and warmth in the heart and you will be transported to a world of nostalgia. If you correlate some of your successes with the influence these people have had on your life, you would be amazed at the volume of positive inputs they have given you. These inputs could be as varied as having full faith in you, encouraging you,  guiding in you, comforting you, giving you tips, empathizing with you, allowing you the freedom to pursue your passion, supporting you when you falter etc.

Here are a set of people who would be ideal people to associate with and benefit from.

Those close to you.  Beginning with parents and siblings, the list includes friends, colleagues, teachers and seniors. Of course it is possible that some of those close to you would find it hard to empathize with your thoughts and views but it is in your interest to give their counter point of view a hearing. The best part of their support is their response is always keeping your best interest in mind.

Those who have a natural flair to be cheerful and positive. Some of these people could be from the above list but it is equally possible that you do meet others who radiate positive energy. It could be trainers, motivational speakers, superiors from other departments, neighbors etc.

Those who you find knowledgeable, fair, impartial and open. These could include people in positions of authority like the principal of an institution or a senior academician, senior executives in your organization, experienced professionals, a friend’s parents etc.

Those who are good listeners.  Anyone who is willing to lend you an ear, pay attention to you and express interest in your thoughts, views, hopes and aspirations. They may counter question, raise objections, have a different point of view but as long as they pay a lot of attention to you, you can be sure their patience and genuine interest will accelerate your progress.

Those who display appreciation, give proactive encouragement and offer creative solutions. You often meet people from varied backgrounds, experiences and views at seminars, conferences, meetings etc. It is possible that they have some insights that are congruent to your line of thinking. If they display interest in your views, ask relevant questions and give encouraging feedback you can be sure you can profitably tap into their vast repository of knowledge, experience and wisdom.

Action Points:

  1. Make a list of 5 people at least 2 of whom are senior citizens and one of whom is younger than you who you believe would be excellent people to associate with and who would appreciate, understand and encourage you.
  2. Can you list out 3 of the best advice that you ever received. How did advice have a major bearing in your life?
  3. Who was the one person who offered you the best solace when you were very low or depressed? How and what did the person do or say to reassure you?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com