First of all, I want to wish you a Happy New Year for 2019. We’re only a few days away and then we’re into a New Year. What a perfect time to think about how you’d like your life to look going forward. The reason for the title of the blog came from a friend of mine who posed an intriguing question. Can there be too much empathy? I was also posed another question over Christmas by another friend who wondered if we’re really spoiling our kids too much.
I felt the two questions/points intersected and were worth exploring. Also I felt it was worth sharing, as it might be a round about way of looking at ways to enhance your 2019. I think, in essence, both my friends were intermating that our Western lifestyle has become too easy and too quick to remedy what were once fairly basic human challenges. That we have created the much maligned “snow-flake” generation. That our teens and young adults are now to preened and protected that when the run into everyday upheavals they don’t know what to do and thus “strop”.
I feel this is slightly unfair on this generation, although as with most stereotypes there’s a grain of truth in there. I, as a parent, can see that we often try to smooth our kids lives over to such an extent that our kids never really have to figure anything out. Therefore, when faced with an issue they look to us to sort it, rather than sort it themselves. I think at present, there’s a tendency to “blame” the younger generation for their supposed lack of initiative. That might be part of the story, but we before them had a large hand in creating this situation.
To move this to a therapeutic viewpoint, I have started to see younger clients come in with what seem to be potentially minor issues that have struck them as intrinsically difficult. Essentially my role is to allow them to explore their solutions and give them the confidence to go out and do what they need to. It’s as if they’ve rarely had to fend for themselves and need to acquire these skills at this point in life rather than say as an early teen. Of course we’re talking about “first world problems”, but these are all relative, so to those who live in our world, these are really issues to be tackled.
I also mentioned to my friend in response to the “too much empathy” query, that I find it encouraging that more people are prepared to seek help for what bothers them. That they’re moving away from the idea that they should not talk about things the bother them, and just put up. This to me is a much healthier way of being. Even if it’s not talking to a professional, I hope the general trend is to share worries and concerns so that as a society we get better at helping each other. Also that we get better at accepting we can’t possible do everything and know everything. That turning to each other for assistance is a great idea and to be applauded and admired.
As for 2019, to answer my other friends query around spoiling our kids, well I agree that we all need to reduce our dependence on material goods to feel good. If you, this coming year, can learn to love what you have, who’s around you and what you do with your time, then you’ll be on a path to far greater contentment than might imagine. Spend time doing things you love and being with those you love, it’s a really enriching way to be. Try to live in the moment and worry less about what the future holds. Also, learn from bumps in the past, but do you best to avoid dwelling on things you can’t change. If you live an enjoyable and fulling life now, trust you can sort things out as you go, you’ll be just fine.
If you want a hand with any of this stuff, then just drop me a line and we can figure things out together! Have a great start to your new year, and I’ll drop more posts in 2019.