empathy

Your Yearly Update from the Wisdom 2.0 Conference

monks_mondalaEach year I enjoy a special weekend attending the Wisdom 2.0 conference with Pete, our daughter, Molly, and some other special friends. A second pleasure of the Conference is reviewing my notes and sending some insights to you.… Read more...

Elephants and Interspecies Empathy

Why am I writing about elephants? I am writing about trauma, attachment and empathy – concepts that are central to the work Pete and I confront daily in our work with couples. Several years ago Pete, Molly and I went to Africa to work on a lion research program. Out in the field, I was captivated by watching elephant families and hearing stories about their society. One of our Kenyan guides told us a particularly compelling story about a pregnant elephant who got trapped in the watering hole we were viewing. Everyone – elephants and local people – desperately tried to free the pregnant elephant, but were sadly unsuccessful and she died in the watering hole.… Read more...

How to Identify Failed Empathy in the Narcissistic Personality

… and Utilize Specific Tools for Increasing Differentiation Last month we talked about one defensive pattern of a narcissistic partner. This month we will address the low level of empathy in the narcissistic partner. A narcissistic partner would never start therapy by saying this in an initial interview: “I wish I could give even when it isn't convenient for me. However, I hate to admit I'm wrong and I have a very thin skin, so I frequently make demands or attack my partner. I wish I could make a sustained effort to give and respond in an empathic way. But, I am rarely giving or nurturing unless I feel like it.” The narcissist will never say this because they do not give when it is inconvenient and they have minimal capacity to be psychologically separate from another person.… Read more...

The Narcissistic Personality

… Why Recognizing Hurt and Vulnerability Leads to Greater Self-Acceptance Our culture in the United States is one that supports narcissism. We tend to revere athletes and celebrities and elevate those who are rich or beautiful. Many of these people give very little to get a lot. Someone once said, “If it weren't for marriage or committed relationships, some people could go through life believing they had no faults at all.” Welcome to the inner world of the narcissist, the person who is quick to feel entitled to get and slow to give. Over the years, it has been a challenge to become more effective with these individuals when seeing them in the couples context.… Read more...
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