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Empathy and Transparency

On the occasion of the discussion I had with a friend about the difference between empathy and transparency, I had the idea to share with you some of my thoughts on empathy and transparency that emerged from this discussion.

For me personally, empathy and transparency have to do with truth, and empathy is about fragility. I can tell you something true and not show you my fragility, and I can show you my fragility without telling you the whole truth (eg "I really want to share right now", but I'm not ready - or to talk about it… »).

In my opinion, transparency does not run the same risks of emotional exposure as empathy. Discrimination is important because it means I can be open and honest with people, even when it is not appropriate to be vulnerable with them. I can manage my emotional exposure and my "information exposure" in slightly different circumstances, and position myself with the creation of the All in my psychic world,.

What are the differences?

I noticed that there are different kinds of empathy. There is learned empathy, and experiential empathy, and although they seem to be the same, they are very different. There is an empathy to tell someone something true when there is security that they will not judge or reject you. There is the empathy of passing the risk without staying with yourself. There is an empathy to show another person how important he or she is to you. There is the role of empathy that is learned as a theoretical lesson.

There is an emotional empathy to show what is going on inside us. There is the empathy of commitment, of full commitment There is the empathy to let people see the "incompetent" parts of your life, to experience them visibly and to connect with you. Empathy is primarily about relationships of trust. This is probably why it is so important, because it is an expression of trust and an invitation to participate.

In the therapeutic relationship, empathy is a constant interaction as if you were walking in pain, fear, shame, in the presence of someone else, inviting you to be with you on this journey. And transparency may be the key to a successful therapeutic relationship; empathy is the keyhole that works as a tool to touch people's lives and show them that they are not alone. It is the journey of his relational settings there and then to the here and now.

There is a dark side to the role (it is much easier to be cynical, marginal, critical, Narcissistic). It works as a role of empathy when they present something to others, but what they hear from others they misunderstand. Usually they are open people with no empathy, they have a physical-behavioral profile of a person who is always tired, dramatically magnifying how important they are fighting for their development, their weaknesses, their issues, with intense grimaces of dissatisfaction on the face, narcissistic lies compared to reality and are usually led to a lack of joy and vitality, another strong feature, they look you in the eyes only when they want to speak, but will not allow or hear from anyone talking about their own struggles, weaknesses and issues their. And maybe sometimes they make a side attack by mocking the other's values, forgetting that others are the mirrors of their evolution. They control the sharing, so there is transparency but not empathy - they exercise control through their vulnerability… ..

Thoughts born in a time of pandemic, restriction, fear of disease, submission (for the good of all) the application of a mask ……

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Kyriaki Mertzani

Relational Psychotherapist MSc

Individual - Group Relational Therapy

Adolescents - Adults - Couples

Researcher for the reproduction of intergenerational mental traumas.

Coordinator of Adolescent - Adult groups