Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
The Lies That Saved a Judges Life > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

The Lies That Saved a Judges Life

What is empathy? Many people confuse empathy with sympathy, but empathy is really much more.

My dictionary defines it as "the quality or process of entering fully, through imagination, into another's feelings or motives." In the fullest sense, it implies putting yourself into the other person's shoes, or even getting into his or her skin, so that you really understand and feel his pain, fear - or more positively - his joys.

The opposite of empathy - in communication terms - is invalidation. This is what happens when you express a feeling or idea and the person you are speaking to contradicts or rejects it. And when the emotion happens to be anxiety, sorrow, fear or the like, the rejection can be very painful.

Interestingly, the pain of rejection can be even more profound when the other party bears no ill will towards you. Indeed, the person you have confided in may sincerely believe she is offering you encouragement. But she fails miserably, because there is no empathy.

We have seen in previous articles how devastated children feel when they are on the receiving end of such treatment. But, of course, it's not only children who feel this kind of trauma.

One writer on the subject, Miriam Adahan, in her book It's All a Gift, relates how a friend's eight-month old baby was undergoing treatment for cancer. Mrs. Adahan sat with her for hours, hearing one visitor after another say, "Don't worry. He's going to be just fine."

When they were finally alone, her friend looked at her through tearful eyes and said:

Almost like suffocation...

"Don't they know how much their optimism hurts me? Don't they realize that they aren't letting me talk about what's most on my mind - that he may not get better? It's like someone putting a hand over my mouth and suffocating me. I have to lie and smile and say over and over, 'Of course, everything's going to be fine,' which only makes me feel worse. Why can't these people stop with their optimistic drivel and just listen a little?"

Among other examples of this kind of phenomenon that this author tells over, is the story of a young mother who confided to an older woman how she felt trapped in her house all day long.

"I'm so depressed!" she confessed. "I resent my children and snap at them when they make demands. I think about death all the time."

Nonsense," retorted the older woman, "these are the best years of your life!" What's wrong with you? Don't you appreciate how wonderful it is to have healthy children? You're ungrateful, selfish and spoiled."

The young woman fled the home in tears.

Although there are some folk who take pleasure in being deliberately abusive, most people don't mean to be cruel when they give pat answers. What they lack is communication skills. They don't realize that by minimizing people's pain, they maximize it.

When you respond to your friend's outburst of anxiety or sorrow with: "You'll feel better tomorrow," or: "Don't worry, time heals!" you may be giving him the message: "There's something very wrong with you for complaining when there's nothing to complain about."

The well-meaning advice: "Just take a hot bath and you'll perk up!" could be interpreted to mean: "You should have been able to figure out the solution for yourself," or: "Other people seem to manage in these situations."

Now, I'll tell you a fascinating true story - that, on first glance, seems to contradict just about everything I've implied up to now.

A certain rabbi, a prominent judge of a Jewish religious court, once suffered a sudden heart attack in the middle of a litigation.

When he arrived at the emergency ward, a doctor, who knew and respected the new patient, examined him. The anxious judge asked the doctor about his condition.

"Nothing to worry about at all" answered the doctor. "You are just overworked. You have to rest up."

At the end of the somewhat protracted examination, the staff brought in a stretcher along with some very ominous looking medical apparatus. The judge was hooked up to equipment to which all sorts of tubes were attached. The attendants pushed him briskly down a long corridor and straight through a doorway above which hung a bold sign: "Strictly No Entry - Intensive Care Ward."

Nobody's fool...

This rabbinical judge, of course, was nobody's fool. His vocation involved critically analyzing situations every day and ferreting out the truth. When the doctor came over to him again, his learned patient asked him pointblank: "Why did you deceive me?"

"You really aren't very sick," answered the doctor, surprisingly. "But I am confronted with hundreds of ethical questions every day, and I have no one to ask. I thought it would be nice to have you near me for a while, so you can answer my questions!

"And why are all these fancy machines attached to me?" asked the rabbi very skeptically.

"Do you need to have a nurse run over to you every minute? This way, she can see everything from her desk. And anyway, what difference does it make to you?"

The judge was in hospital for three weeks, but he responded well to treatment. After his discharge, he recounted his experiences to his friends and colleagues:

"The doctor continuously and consistently lied to me," he told them. "But his lies cured me more than all the medicine they gave me."

Why is this episode so different from the ones described above, where evasion of the truth made the sufferers feel worse?

Have we really grasped what empathy really means?

I will not comment further.

What do YOU think?

Azriel Winnett is the creator of Hodu.com - Your Communication Skills Portal. This popular free website helps you improve your communication and relationship skills in your business or professional life, in the family unit and on the social scene.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Wall Street Journal

Intel CEO Krzanich Resigns Over Relationship With Employee
Wall Street Journal
Intel has a longstanding, non-fraternization policy that prohibits managers from having sexual or romantic relationships with employees who report directly or indirectly to them, a spokesman for the company said. The spokesman called the policy a ...
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigns after 'consensual relationship with an Intel employee'USA TODAY
Intel CEO Krzanich Resigns Over Past Consensual Relationships with EmployeeMultichannel News
Intel's Brian Krzanich is forced out as CEO after 'consensual relationship' with employeeCNBC
CBS News -Reuters -The Register
all 478 news articles »

Stuff.co.nz

Dom Harvey is 'hopeless at communicating' in relationships
Stuff.co.nz
Harvey told co-hosts Megan Annear and Clinton Randell that reflecting on the anniversary had made him realise he was "hopeless at communicating" in relationships. "I'd rather shut up and bite my tongue than say the wrong thing that ends up sparking an ...


Elle UK Magazine

28 Of The Longest Celebrity Marriages And Relationships
Elle UK Magazine
After certain marriages ( *cough* Dewan-Tatum *cough* Faris-Pratt *cough*) have recently called it quits, we can't help but feel that love might be, if not dead, certainly ailing. Thankfully, we are being totally melodramatic and romance is certainly ...


TIME

How to Make a Long-Distance Relationship Work, According to Experts
TIME
My husband Nick and I are no strangers to a long-distance relationship; and through trial and error, we figured out how to make our long-distance relationship work. We met in the Galapagos when I lived in New York and he lived in California. We never ...


Elite Daily

6 Things Not To Say To People In Relationships, Because We Have Feelings Too
Elite Daily
While it's easy to think that people in relationships have no worries (*cue “Hakuna Matata”*) because they have someone by their side, it's not a fair assumption. Everyone has their own set of issues, single or not, and frankly, when you're in a ...


Los Angeles Times

Family relationships have long been part of the bedrock of US immigration policy. Then came Trump
Los Angeles Times
Reports of young children ripped from their parents' arms at the U.S.-Mexico border are causing outrage, and rightly so. But this shocking practice is just the latest example of the Trump administration's systematic assault on bonds of love and kinship ...

and more »

TIME

AP-NORC Poll: Americans not hopeful about ties with allies
KVEO-TV
Nearly half of Americans - 46 percent - expect relationships with the country's traditional allies to get worse over the next year, while just 20 percent expect them to get better. At the same time, more expect relationships with traditionally hostile ...
AP-NORC Poll: Americans not hopeful about ally relationshipsWFTV Orlando

all 177 news articles »

Romper

7 Critical Differences Between A Healthy Relationship & One That's Too Good To Be True
Romper
At the beginning of relationships, when everything is still relatively new, it can seem like you're wrapped up in the bubble of your new relationship, when everything is full of excitement. But after a certain point, if things continue to seem like ...


GlobeSt.com

Relationships Loom Large in Flat Yield Curve Environment
GlobeSt.com
As PNC Real Estate VPs Jason Lamport and Tony Park tell GlobeSt.com, relationships and solid track records will serve borrowers well in an environment of flat yield curves. As reported previously, while a flat yield curve could presage an economic ...


Elite Daily

I Asked My Tinder Matches What Their Worst Qualities Are In Relationships & Wow
Elite Daily
Whether we like it or not, none of us are perfect. In a relationship, we bring both our best and worst qualities to the partnership. With any good relationship, your faults are something you work on and try to improve. When I'm in a committed ...

Google News

You Have to Read Heartbreak Rescue Just For You

"The truth that makes men free is for the most... Read More

When A Two-Salary Income Fails

While this may not apply to everyone, you may find... Read More

Relationship Advice: 2 Beliefs for a Successful Relationship

Mark Twain once saidGod's great cosmic joke on the human... Read More

Things Every Couple Should Know

In my family law practice, one of the most common... Read More

Put Some Z.I.P. Into Your Relationships

Relationships are really what makes the world go 'round, aren't... Read More

Understanding Your Teen Relationship

Teen relationships are touchy things. Girls are often ready for... Read More

Are You Paralysed By The Fear Of Future Regrets?

Edith Piaf remains an icon and her best loved song,... Read More

True Friendships - How to Get True Friends and Friendships

True Friendship - RecognitionHow can we find true friendships in... Read More

Relationships: Last a Lifetime

Stepping into a new position brought along a few surprises.... Read More

Infidelity Excuse: I Fell Out of Love... and Just Love Being in Love

I find this dilemma rather common for younger couples, probably... Read More

Mairi

Mairi came into my life about two years ago. She... Read More

American Women Really Don?t Like You

Any man who has dated Asian ladies who live in... Read More

Womens Cosmic Personality Quiz: Are You a Star Woman or an Earth Mother?

Star Women are visionary leaders, and focused on the future.... Read More

Warning Signs He / She May Not Be The One

We've all looked back on past relationships and said, "What... Read More

How We Define Our Relationships?

We can fall into the habit of complaining about our... Read More

king Your Relationship Pattern, Part 3

Do you want to put to rest the people and... Read More

Relationships That Really Last: Is This the Secret?

In my e-book, How to Build Relationships That Stick, I... Read More

Authentic Relationships - 5-Question Exercise to Explore How You Show Up In Relationship

The focus of this article is to explore what it... Read More

Relationship Advice: 10 Ways to Prevent a Break Up

The question I am asked most often is: I think... Read More

Rhubarb Romance: A Little Honey Works Wonders

Spring is in the air. It is a time of... Read More

20 Tips to Keep Love Alive

Have you ever been at a loss to think of... Read More

Second Fiddle

I have been seeing a married man for the past... Read More

10 Fast Ways to Re-ignite the Flames of Love

Enhance Romance today.When Men and Women enter into a relationship,... Read More

What is Romance and How Can You be More Romantic?

Whether you've been in a relationship for a long time,... Read More

Relationships that Work: How to Get Along with People Who Drive You Crazy

Question: What % of your bad moods at work are... Read More