Nicola Morgan

Author, Speaker, Supporter

Understanding and Supporting Your Teenagers – few spaces left and I’m not doing it again!

The Teenage Brain Woman On: Empathy

My website and its store of advice on all aspects of wellbeing and health is so vast that I think it’s time to gather some threads together. So I am beginning a series called The Teenage Brain Woman On… In each post, I will gather together various things I’ve written on a topic, plus things I value by others, and save you the job of searching.

Teenagers and negative friendships; excerpt from The Teenage Guide to Friends by Nicola MorganFirst, empathy

Empathy is something we all like to think we have but which is woefully lacking in some of the people who think they have it most. Empathy is not about finding people who think and feel just like you and then feeling super-secure in your groupthink mentality so you forget that not everyone thinks or feels the same and that other people’s thoughts and feelings are equally important.

Empathy is nothing at all to do with agreeing or thinking the same. The “pathy” part is about “feeling”. Empathy is about tuning in to feelings (and the thoughts and behaviours they lead to), based on listening to the individual and on understanding something of how human minds work in general.

It is not about holding yourself above someone but about coming to where they are.

Where I’ve written about empathy

Articles about the role of books, and particularly the discussion about reading fiction or nonfiction

Other things by me

Other great resources on empathy

Four important books

A personal note

Talking about listening, are people listening to me? I’m certainly not feeling heard. Maybe it’s because I’m not shouting and there really is an awful lot of shouting right now.

I’m trying to be a still small voice of calm. But maybe I should just stop and go and talk to my plants, who certainly listen? As Voltaire’s character, Candide, says, “Il faut cultiver notre jardin.” But Candide’s subtitle is “Or Optimism.”

How do we stay optimistic when people behave so aggressively and uncaringly to each other? I think we just need to shout a little less and listen a lot more.

Are you with me?





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