Make me wonder #31 of 200 – Oh… Poor you! Boohoo!

Lately there has been lots of internal thoughts about who am I really, deep inside – what am I all about, and most importantly – my purpose in life. (no.. not mid life crisis yet, toy boys – wait a few more years pls)

I’ve read the book – A purpose driven life. This was about a year ago. It’s a Christian book, so yea, am not gonna preach about it here. But it’s a great read truly, and its about time to revisit it again.

So…. all these talks and thoughts, all these soul searching moments (YES YES… it sparked from the recent India trip), it dawned on me that I simply must pen down these thoughts as a ‘Make-me-wonder”.

Make me wonder #31 of 200 shall be about Empathy.

An emotion that is commonly felt for anyone who has visited India (at least for the first time). It was pretty much a culture shock for me – the state of poverty is beyond imagination. To see kids rolling in mud alongside with animals (cows, pigs, camels, dogs.. ) is simply heart-wrenching.

Errr.. for those who do not really grasp the meaning of empathy… Google to the rescue! 🙂

“To show empathy is to identify with another’s feelings. It is to emotionally put yourself in the place of another. The ability to empathize is directly dependent on your ability to feel your own feelings and identify them”

Every article, book, video, character identification quizzes and even fortune tellers, they all said the same thing about me. A girl with overflowing empathy. Before anyone goes ‘AWWWWWWWW’ – let me stop you there by saying that is it NOT exactly a good trait to have. Was reminded again this morning how a positive trait like this, if taken to the extreme, could turn negative.

Here’s why.

Empathy begins with awareness of another person’s feelings. It’s totally easy for me to pick up emotions, especially negative ones. The slight wrinkle on the forehead, the barely uttered sigh, the semi roll of the eyes…. I notice. (it’s no wonder I’m over sensitive and am always wondering if someone with me is happy or not – i picked up negative emotions). So once I picked up certain emotions, and once I’ve figured out how another person feels, I show empathy by acknowledging the emotion. Some may say, for example,

– I can see you are really uncomfortable about this.
– I can understand why you would be upset.

We can also show empathy through a simple sign of affection such as hug or a tender touch. Though empathy is usually used in reference to sensing negative feelings, it can also apply to someone’s positive feelings of success, accomplishment, pride, achievement etc. In this case a “high five” would also be a sign of empathy. So  yea… I can be really sad and bummed out for someone, on the other hand, I am also truly joyful when someone good happens to someone in my good books. I genuinely cheer and congratulate, and meant it when I say – Good for you!

Everything sounds good so far? Should I be skipping for joy congratulating God for doing a great job on me? Not just yet. What happens if I take my empathy level to the extreme? (which I tend to do a lot these days)

As I am more aware and more in touch with my inner self, I realized my sense of conscience, compassion, empathy etc. heightens.

I realized that I can become overly-affected by another person’s moods,  my bf, a friend, even the beggars on the street that we stumbled upon in Bangkok, Thailand and India. It dampens my spirit a lot during my holidays in those 2 countries, and I know… it is extremely unhealthy for my relationship. (if he sulks and is moody when he gets back from work, I’ll feel all mellowed and gloomy too so can launch into emo mood at the snap of his tongue! :P)

Another example I can truly cite is when today, a friend poured her heart out telling me about her pains lately with everything around her, friends, family, career, and some disappointments. Right on cue – I feel her. So without hesitation I jumped into Dear Thelma mode and started consoling her, sharing my pains as well in hopes to cheer her up.

Therefore, I think it seems to make sense that while our innate emotional sensitivity gives us the ability to feel empathy, our emotional intelligence helps us decide what to do when we feel empathy and what to do when someone else’s moods are affecting us too much.

So I guess…. the key is probably to consciously do the  exact opposite. If someone’s misfortune is making me feel bad too, I should try harder to cheer that person up rather than mucking in the dark with them – makes sense? Must.Try.  and… report back! 🙂

Then I wondered if it is possible to feel too much empathy. So I Googled, and I found these.

“President of the USA, Barack Obama, believes that empathy is something we could use more of in society. In fact it is likely that our human ability to empathize is one of the main ways our emotions contribute to the survival of the species”

and I found this too!

Einstein Quote

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

And lastly, this

“Aquarius has gotten a reputation for being a humanitarian. This is a different picture of the humanitarian than we might first imagine. For Aquarius, it comes out as the spirit of the freedom fighter — the one who is frustrated by the lack of freedom in the world and in her society and others, by whatever definition — whether it’s that people are not free because they are being suppressed by their government or culture, religiously, issues of gender and orientation rights, whatever it is — butalso even if it’s oppression because of lack, such as the hungry or homeless. Aquarius believes in and fights for personal freedom; it is her philosophy and belief that the right to personal freedomis the first and most important right that everyone deserves, and where she sees that right being threatened, she will fight”

There! I am almost done.

I started this post by saying – there has been lotsa thoughts lately, random wonderment at first….. who am I really, this new person I’ve come to know. Then I took defining myself to a whole new level and here’s my summary of it. (as of yesterday… unsure if it changes from time to time.. :P) {A lot of it was taken from many horoscope sites though I’m not suppose to believe in them…. oh well…  (and no… I don’t take only the good stuff, I’m proud of my flaws!)}

Am said to be a nerd + bimbo trapped in a mind of a 12 yr old boy (Guinea Pig cited this when he first knew me, and I did sheepishly admitted, spot on!)

I am exuberant, lively & an exhibitionist, sometimes hiding the considerable depths of my character under a cloak of frivolity. I am also strong willed and forceful and have strong convictions.

Strongly imaginative and psychically intuitive.

Work best in group projects, have a strong feeling of unity with nature and a desire for knowledge and truth.

I know my flaws well.

I am prone to fanatical eccentricity, wayward egotism, excessive detachment and an inclination to retreat from life and society, and a tendency to be extremely dogmatic in my opinions.

But my greatest weakness would be my moments of simmering anger and resentment, rudeness or, worse, a tense, threatening silence which may suddenly burst out in eruptions of extreme temper.

My life motto is – Life is about chasing rainbows!

My Fav quote is – “The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” Arnold J. Toynbee

So after this rather long happy-ramble post – no more wonderment. Wonder #31 has been solved.

My summary?

My Empathy – a trait to be proud of!

and to keep

(but also to keep an eye on!)



About MayWong

Am said to be a nerd bimbo trapped in a mind of a 12 yr old boy by the one I love. Blubbly-icious!~!~!!~!~!!
This entry was posted in Make Me Wonder, Me, Myself & I and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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