The Meaning of Empathy and Sympathy—and How to Tell the Difference!

July 18, 2019

You’d be forgiven for mistaking sympathy and empathy for synonyms. Much of pop culture and even many dictionaries confuse the two. On a basic level, they are similar. But in a very meaningful, practical way—empathy and sympathy are two separate practices and distinct emotional responses. We'll identify the difference between empathy and sympathy by exploring their roots and meanings.

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy

"Look What You Made Me Do!" How to Avoid the Blame Game

July 16, 2019

Blaming is a common reaction. The blame game used to be one of my primary arsenals. Years ago, whenever I felt helpless or overwhelmed, I blamed the dog, my kids, or even the chair in the way when stubbing my toe. Anything in earshot received a rant of blame. "Look what you made me do!"

Hmm. Does anyone or anything really make us do anything?So why do we blame? Think about it for a moment. An intense feeling boils up and out comes the biting remark. It's easy and takes the heat off of us. And what's the heat? Painful and uncomfortable feelings. Phew! The hurt stops temporarily. 

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence

How to Talk to Someone with Empathy—and What to Avoid!

June 25, 2019

Recently, someone shared the following experience with me:

“During a hectic and stressful time, I bumped into a friend at a coffee shop. She looked almost as stressed out as I felt, so I asked her what was wrong. Immediately, she began venting about an argument she just had with her husband. I tried to listen, but my mind was stuck on my own problems. As soon as I swung my attention back to her, I noticed that her expression had gone from stressed to withdrawn and angry. She stopped making eye contact and quickly said good-bye. I had really stepped in it. I had not shown my good friend [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy

The Power of Good or Bad Habits

May 14, 2019

Habits control our lives whether we recognize it or not. If you’ve ever tried to overcome a bad habit, you’ll relate to the power of habits.

From the moment you get up in the morning, your activities are on cruise control: brushing your teeth, showering, eating breakfast, exercising (or not), checking Facebook or your email inbox, rituals once you’re at work, etc. Whatever you repeat enough and do routinely, the brain will create a habit. Why? Because the brain is a superhighway of efficiency.

Ponder for a moment how magnificent your brain is. Your unconscious mind orchestrates trillions [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence

Learn to Recognize and Allow Yourself to Feel Your Emotions

September 08, 2018

Getting in touch with one’s feelings is not that easy for most of us. For years, we have been taught to suppress and hide certain feelings. For instance, when we are feeling down and blue, we are often told to put on a “brave face” and smile, even though we know we are hurting inside.

Over time, it can become more difficult to express what we are truly feeling.

Posted in Emotional Intelligence

How to Control and Release Anger Without Lashing Out

August 28, 2018

Everyone gets angry at some point in their lives. Even our children will get angry when something is not going their way or they get frustrated. Anger, in itself, is often considered a “bad” emotion that we have been taught to suppress and push aside. After all, if we let anger get the best of us, our reactions can lead to negative consequences or cause uncomfortable circumstances for ourselves or others.

Posted in Emotional Intelligence

Managing Impulsive and Compulsive Actions through Emotional Intelligence

August 07, 2018

Impulsive and compulsive actions are those types of behaviors where we do not think through the actual consequences. Rather, we simply react quickly to a current situation without taking the time to consider the actual short-term and long-term consequences of our actions.

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Be Your Own Life Coach, Self-Compassion

Is It Better to Feel or Flee Emotions?

August 02, 2018

From the time we are children, we are taught appropriate emotional responses. Depending on how you were reared, you may have been taught to suppress “negative or bad” emotions and hide these away. For instance, boys are often taught they should not cry in front of others, as this is a sign of weakness, while girls are taught that it’s okay to cry anywhere they want, yet, if they get angry, they should suppress this inappropriate emotion.

On the other hand, concerning good emotions, we are taught to embrace these and experience them to the fullest. Happiness, joy, and pleasure are all types [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership, Emotional Intelligence

Self-Sabotage: It Happens to the Best of Us

July 11, 2018

All of us, at some point or another, allow ourselves to get in our own ways and self-sabotage ourselves. Whether it is a potential job promotion we have worked tirelessly to achieve or starting our own business, we can be our own worst enemies and make it seem like we are not truly deserving of what we have worked so hard to achieve.Why do we sabotage ourselves?

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Be Your Own Life Coach, Self-Compassion

Why Companies Fail without Leaders with Emotional Intelligence

January 18, 2018

Leadership requires much more than business smarts. Poor decision-making, breakdowns in communication, knee-jerk reactions to employees, taking credit for another's work or a lack of engagement are a few examples that can be problematic. These behaviors can act as a disease in business and undo even the most prominent companies. What is becoming more and more corroborated is that a leader's success depends not on a business degree but much more heavily on their ability to get along with people, to lead and inspire people. 

Posted in Business and Leadership, Emotional Intelligence