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6 Ways Big-Hearted Women Misplace Our Empathy — And Suffer For It In The End
Susan Allan -- The Marriage Forum Susan Allan -- The Marriage Forum
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Santa Barbara, CA
Wednesday, July 19, 2023


You Love Others Unconditionally- Please remember to Love YOURSELF that much, too!

One of the most wonderful experiences is receiving empathy from someone who truly cares.

When someone connects empathetically, imagines what you feel and need, and communicates with kindness, those words of empathy heal your pain. When you are giving empathy to someone else, this skill is the most powerful way to create a deep and authentic connection. This is the fastest route to friendship and intimacy — and it's incredibly authentic.

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Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D., founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication and one of my teachers, taught that there is a small percentage of each culture, ethnicity, and religion that is naturally compassionate. The rest of us need to learn how to offer empathy that calms and heals people who are in emotional pain, without exhausting ourselves.

It's that phrase "without exhausting ourselves" that is often overlooked by people who give too much, or who misplace their empathy.

In this article written by Richard Fisher for The BBC, “Can empathy be bad for you?”, the answer is that it is potentially damaging if we miss these important differences between beneficial empathy and misplaced empathy.

“A final downside of empathy is its sometimes-incapacitating emotional impact. The philosopher Susanne Langer once called empathy an ‘involuntary breach of individual separateness’ and this seems to apply particularly when we observe someone suffering, such as a loved one. Brain scan studies by neuroscientist Tania Singer of the Max Planck Society in Germany have shown that when people watched others in pain, their brain activity in the regions associated with pain was partially mirrored. This may be an evolutionary adaptation to help us predict, and avoid, how pain would affect us.”

Here are 6 signs your empathy is misplaced 

Remember that misplaced empathy requires as much time and effort as beneficial empathy does but produces no positive results because you aren’t connecting to the other person’s actual needs.   

1. You forget to self-soothe.

Before focusing on someone in pain and instead of projecting onto someone else, we must have the ability to first self-soothe until we feel peaceful. Only then will we be able to truly be compassionate.

2. You forget to be authentic and check your own emotional state.

You may be on “auto-pilot” and unable to connect with your own feelings and emotions.

3. You put someone else’s needs ahead of your own time and again.

You will find that the love and healthy empathy you once felt for a friend is depleted until any expression of care disappears. Most of us recognize this as co-dependence and it never works.

Please enjoy my article from www.yourtango.com also posted on my Substack

RELATED: The Cry-It-Out Plan That Helps Adults Heal Past Trauma

4. You forget to triage.

Separate those people who deserve your loving kindness from those who do not. Then clarify the situations that are truly critical from those that are just drama. If your friend keeps playing their invisible violin sweetly disconnect.  

5. You wish you had a lot more skills, but you don’t. 

As a life coach and mediator, I have helped many families transform addiction and suicidal ideation for 24 years. However, most people do not have that training, so avoid jumping into a “shark-filled pool” when the best option is contacting a skilled professional.

6. You enjoy playing ‘therapist’ or ‘AA Sponsor’.

Another example of what not to do becomes obvious if you know someone who is constantly giving empathy, like a pretend therapist, because he/she/they feel miserable and love talking about emotional pain and suffering. Since beneficial empathy means that we are guessing the other person’s feelings and unmet needs, it is never about projecting our own emotional state or unhappiness onto someone else.

To learn 4 ways to prioritize empathy that works for you and your family please read the rest of this article on

Learn How to Offer Empathy That Works Like a Charm!!!!!

Once you read the entire article in which I offer Empathy scripts, please remember this:

Giving others the gift of empathy can help them heal

When you offer empathy to someone, and you have the skills to guess their feelings and unmet needs, they will calm down. Even people who have chosen the role of victim rather than learning to improve their lives will become more peaceful and more present. In this way, they heal, and you avoid the emotional exhaustion of misplaced empathy. 

Susan Allan is a certified mediator and coach and the founder of the Marriage Forum Inc and creator of The 6 Part Conversation and The 7 Stages of Marriage and Divorce training to help people understand their own needs and their partners.

Please enjoy my article at www.yourtango.com

RELATED: 5 Skills That Shift Angry Ex-Lovers To Close, Loving Friends

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Name: Susan Allan
Group: The Marriage Forum Inc.
Dateline: Santa Barbara, CA United States
Direct Phone: 805-695-8405
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