Random Rants: Empathy
Disclaimer: Random Rants have a general disregard for flow and minimal editing
Empathy, where does empathy come from? I guess you cant really be empathetic unless you understand why people do what they do. How easy it is to make mistakes, how often you yourself actually make mistakes. That’s so key because if you’re of the belief that you’re infallible and aren’t honest with yourself about your own mistakes and blame others or disregard it it’ll we harder to have empathy. If on the other hand if you are all too aware of your mistakes and berate yourself constantly you’re more likely to take that type of mindset out on others.
Perhaps people are afraid to admit mistakes because it’s painful. They don’t want to deal with the negative self talk. The practice of just noticing the self talk, understanding that it’s counter productive but not trying to stop it is a great 1st step to stopping that.
Empathy and understanding go hand in hand and if you have a hard time understanding others you can work on understanding yourself. If you’re not into that then you can read books that explain it to you, if you’re not into books you can have conversations with people who do, if you’re not into conversations with people or don’t have access to them, listen to podcasts about it, if you don’t like podcasts watch documentaries about it, if you don’t like documentaries reflect or write about it, if you don’t like that meditate, if you don’t like meditating do something that physically pushes you past your limits, If you don’t like doing any of that stuff well then you’re fucked. I went through this whole spiel because you can learn anything in a variety of different ways, believing there is one way to learn something is always wrong. There are probably more ways then I mentioned here. Find the way that best suits you for whatever you want to learn.
Anyways tangent over. I think empathy is interesting because it’s something I developed as I fucked up more and more and as I understood myself more. I meditated, I wrote, I reflected, I talked with many different people, I hired a coach, I read (a lot), I listened to podcasts…. it looks like I used almost all the methods I mentioned above. I think that’s how I learn anything. I can’t stand the straight line, linear process of learning. When I want to learn something I attack - well attack isn’t the right word it sounds to cool. I go at it from many different angles, it is my belief that a holistic, not in a spiritual way but just that understanding a subject in many different ways creates a whole, a more deeper and total understanding and functional use of the skill.
For example, I don’t just mean meditation helps you concentrate and focus better and be calmer at the poker table I also think it helps you uncover biases in your thinking and fix huge leaks. Biases are huge creators of leaks, people who remember only the bad hands apply that to almost all areas of the game and play too passively and vice versa for positive types. I told my wife that somehow chess was going to help me get better at poker, I wasn’t sure how but I knew it was. Eventually after 6 months, I was able to think about the game entirely differently and it’s helped my game tremendously. When I learn about teaching I don’t just study books on education, I watch standup comedy and try (this is the key word) and break down why the jokes are funny, I read books on energy management, philosophy, stress, psychology, successful sports coaches, selling, willpower, grit.
This keeps the learning new and different and funner. It makes your knowledge and application different and funner. When you’re playing poker or teaching or doing anything I find it more fun to have all these different types of knowledge and using that to make decisions. Although it’s not like it happens simultaneously, I’m not sure really how it happens.
So too empathy can be learned in many ways, not just through different mediums but through different subjects. I think learning in a straight line is boring as fuck and so wrong and creates boring jeopardy type of knowledge (idk if the jeopardy makes sense to anyone but me lol). When you want to learn something but are bored of the traditional approach try to read something you believe is related to it and when you’re reading it, be on alert for connections you can make. Everything is interconnected on some level, finding the interconnections is a really fun and beautiful thing.