Empathy and honesty

Rational discussions on metaphysical and abstract topics.
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Cerastes
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Empathy and honesty

Postby Cerastes » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:06 am

If we can empathize with others, the inhibition to speak openly about unpleasant truths also increases since the empathic person fears to cause emotional hurts.
A deeply developed empathy may therfore result in us no longer daring to speak the truth towards others. Even silence can be dishonest to some point if it is used to hide the truth. It may lead to a downside of passivity that has the potential to cause harm too. Those are just half-baked thoughts but I'd like to hear your opinions about it.

How do you feel about this? Are you able to openly tell the truth, even if you risc to hurt others or would you prefer the remain silent about it? Did your sense of it change throughout your spiritual path?
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Smaragd
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Re: Empathy and honesty

Postby Smaragd » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:48 pm

Cerastes wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:06 am
If we can empathize with others, the inhibition to speak openly about unpleasant truths also increases since the empathic person fears to cause emotional hurts.
A deeply developed empathy may therfore result in us no longer daring to speak the truth towards others. Even silence can be dishonest to some point if it is used to hide the truth. It may lead to a downside of passivity that has the potential to cause harm too. Those are just half-baked thoughts but I'd like to hear your opinions about it.

How do you feel about this? Are you able to openly tell the truth, even if you risc to hurt others or would you prefer the remain silent about it? Did your sense of it change throughout your spiritual path?
Trying to bring the other perspective in for the sake of honesty is important, but I guess one can feel how intensively it can be brought forward. I tend to think when people open up about their recesses, traumas, overall headspace etc. they not only need to air them out, but the sometimes unconscious motive is to bring a change of attitude towards them with the help of others. Even a little climpse of the other point of view can be healing as the person has to grab on that vine by themselves and see where it leads. To give the other some time to chew on the topic might be important, as it is a darn slow process seeing us grow through the complexes. There might appear some kind of activities that seem to avoid facing the truth or just passivity towards it, but who knows how each of us has to process these things.
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Nefastos
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Re: Empathy and honesty

Postby Nefastos » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:54 pm

Cerastes wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:06 am
How do you feel about this? Are you able to openly tell the truth, even if you risc to hurt others or would you prefer the remain silent about it? Did your sense of it change throughout your spiritual path?


That depends on great many factors, but as a rule of thumb, I prefer to remain silent. My own White path mentality joins together the attitudes of Venus (tenderness, "soft" diplomatic speech) and Jupiter (demand of personal uplifting: everyone should demand the very best from themselves, and if they do not do that, my criticism will not help much).

My basic idea has not changed, but there have been phases where different audiences have demanded a bit different approaches. In case one wants to truly communicate with the others, these things are necessarily things that must be attuned at least a little to all the different individuals with whom we communicate. Sometimes this even means that we must seemingly degrade our personal preferences, to be able to join to the very different energies & communication habits of the others. It is really a form of art to know where goes the fine line between the positive & negative compromise.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Aquila
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Re: Empathy and honesty

Postby Aquila » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:06 pm

I think it strongly depends on the situation at hand and what our role is. I have to be honest about myself and things that might affect others in such a way that they should know about it but it's not really my duty to tell other people of what I see about them if they are not asking for anything like that or our relationship is not based on any closer connection. In general I have no trouble telling people the truth in discussions but I also have a strong sense of subtlety and nuances. Empathy doesn't need to prevent honesty but true honesty needs a lot of empathy to begin with to see what the other person really needs and how it should be told. Otherwise there will likely be a counter-reaction that might even hinder the process.
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Cerastes
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Re: Empathy and honesty

Postby Cerastes » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:18 pm

Smaragd wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:48 pm
Even a little climpse of the other point of view can be healing as the person has to grab on that vine by themselves and see where it leads. To give the other some time to chew on the topic might be important, as it is a darn slow process seeing us grow through the complexes. There might appear some kind of activities that seem to avoid facing the truth or just passivity towards it, but who knows how each of us has to process these things.
This is again a complete different way of thinking but you might be right. Speaking out the truth directly could even hinder ones’ own thinking process in some cases.
It is important to prove the own intention and make sure there is no spitefulness hidden behind the need to speak out or remain silent. But usually it takes much more effort for me to not say what I think right away. Well... the other women in my workplace stopped asking me if I like their new haircuts for some reason but I’m working on my diplomatic abilities. :mrgreen:
Nefastos wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:54 pm
It is really a form of art to know where goes the fine line between the positive & negative compromise.
Oh, yes it is.
I sometimes put honesty above empathy because I assume the truth will find its way to the surface anyway, even if we do not speak about it. Still it is a constant effort to recognize when it is better to just stay passive. Diplomacy is not exactly my strength and I don’t like to beat around the bush. I always find it admirable when someone naturally has these Venus qualities within communication because for me it takes a constant work and a lot of self-reflection.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Heith
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Re: Empathy and honesty

Postby Heith » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:29 pm

Cerastes wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:18 pm
I always find it admirable when someone naturally has these Venus qualities within communication because for me it takes a constant work and a lot of self-reflection.
Oh goodness, do I second this. I have exactly similar experience. Sometimes (often) I wish that I had an editor have me check the things I say (and which afterwards make me burn with shame). I find it's easier to be more thoughtful if I either have a set role (such as teaching or other clearly defined role of being responsible of the situation) or if I am feeling emotionally distant of the situation at hand, such as a topic I resonate with only a little.
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Re: Empathy and honesty

Postby Polyhymnia » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:05 pm

Hello, everyone! This is my first post in the forums, and this is a topic I think about quite frequently.

I struggle oftentimes speaking the truth if I know the person I'm speaking to is very sensitive. I find that in alot of cases, I have to wait for the scale to tip where I can no longer not speak out, but by the time I'm at that point I've usually been sitting on it for some time. The ultimate outcome is dependent on the emotion I've allowed to sit with me. I'm working on it, but it's definitely a work in progress. It's hard not to allow some of the more negative feelings that accompany confrontation to take the lead over reason, but taking each step mindfully is an often rewarding process towards resolution and peace.

On a lighter note, has anyone else noticed that the word empath has kind of turned into a buzzword amongst a large portion "enlightened" folk, and it almost always seems to be used, in this context, as an excuse to not have to hold oneself accountable while simultaneously uplifting the personal ego - i.e.: "I can't handle life because I'm so in tune to literally everyone and everything around me and seriously being this spiritually enlightened is so totally exhausting that I can't even."
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
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Smaragd
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Re: Empathy and honesty

Postby Smaragd » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:08 pm

Polyhymnia wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:05 pm
Hello, everyone! This is my first post in the forums, and this is a topic I think about quite frequently.
Welcome to our forum!
Polyhymnia wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:05 pm
On a lighter note, has anyone else noticed that the word empath has kind of turned into a buzzword amongst a large portion "enlightened" folk, and it almost always seems to be used, in this context, as an excuse to not have to hold oneself accountable while simultaneously uplifting the personal ego - i.e.: "I can't handle life because I'm so in tune to literally everyone and everything around me and seriously being this spiritually enlightened is so totally exhausting that I can't even."
This is one reason why I feel it's important to appreciate, study, rewrite and renew the ancient traditions and doctrines. A difference wide as a canyon may seem like indifferent nyance if one haven't gotten familiar with the different phenomenas in our world disguised. Thusly in this example empathy nearing mediumistic abilities are seen as enlightenment, when they are, atleast in the described attitude, a great obstruction to the work of spiritual growth.

This reminds of my own confusion I've felt towards the easiness and freedom some people are able to present themselves and detach from intensity or feelings. It is a fine line where this freedom becomes ignorance of the depth of now and where it is honesty and spinal righteousness.
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Cerastes
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Re: Empathy and honesty

Postby Cerastes » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:16 pm

You are most welcome to the forum, Polyhymnia.

Polyhymnia wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:05 pm
On a lighter note, has anyone else noticed that the word empath has kind of turned into a buzzword amongst a large portion "enlightened" folk, and it almost always seems to be used, in this context, as an excuse to not have to hold oneself accountable while simultaneously uplifting the personal ego - i.e.: "I can't handle life because I'm so in tune to literally everyone and everything around me and seriously being this spiritually enlightened is so totally exhausting that I can't even."

Any developed ability –be it useful in the first place or not- becomes an obstacle as soon as it clings to the desire to be superior to others. At that moment, it is attached to false pride and becomes practically worthless. Too much pride blocks the view at the depth of own emotions which is a fundamental part, or probably even the substantial prerequisite of every spiritual enlightenment.
Smaragd wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:08 pm
This reminds of my own confusion I've felt towards the easiness and freedom some people are able to present themselves and detach from intensity or feelings. It is a fine line where this freedom becomes ignorance of the depth of now and where it is honesty and spinal righteousness.

This is one of the biggest challenges about this. It is relatively easy for me to slam the door and become distant from most feelings. After a while this leads to the trivialization of information and the whole world feels dull, contentless and narrowed. You have the freedom to go anywhere and do anything, but nothing is truly significant. There are not walls to break and no veils to lift.
By now, I’m trying to accept feelings without letting them get in charge of what I do.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Polyhymnia
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Re: Empathy and honesty

Postby Polyhymnia » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:52 am

Cerastes wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:16 pm
By now, I’m trying to accept feelings without letting them get in charge of what I do.
Wisdom. I feel I need to work on this, myself.

Thank you very much for the warm welcome. I look forward to many discussions with you all.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran

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