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Sep 12

The Workaholic Breakdown Syndrome

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Loss of empathy and compassion

by Barbara Killinger

Empathy is a “joining with” experience, an emotional yet objective attempt to understand what another person might be experiencing. Psychologist Carl Rogers defined empathy as “the ability to accompany another to wherever the other person’s feelings lead him, no matter how strong, deep, destructive, or abnormal they may seem.”

It is important however to acknowledge that the objectivity necessary for true empathy is only possible if the observer respects ego boundaries, and possesses the insight and respect necessary to be able to differentiate and honor the separateness and uniqueness of each person’s experience.

One must therefore refrain from projecting, second-guessing or making assumption about the other person’s reasoning, behavior or motivation. Workaholics rarely take the important second step of asking that person questions to learn more about his or her actual experience and reactions to the troublesome situation.

[more…]

 

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