Emotional Alignment
LEARN > Process > Commit: Where does behavior begin?
Sympathy explored.
Do you want to be right or do you want to be successful?
We now know that emotions and behavior are both learned although we've only talked about the latter in an abstract sense. Now we're going to get specific. First up is the skill we need to have if we want to resolve the conflict in our lives: sympathy. And the reason may surprise you. Let me explain.

First, let's define the word. From wikipedia, Sympathy is the perception of, understanding of, and reaction to the distress or need of another life form. That's a good start, but for EA, we need to add a qualifier. Sympathy is really driven by some type of communication, like when we observe, hear or read something. This is opposed to empathy where we are guessing or assuming something without a more direct signal. This may seem like a semantics discussion but it is important. Here's why.

Let's consider a person in a poor situation. An addict, a person experiencing homelessness, maybe even someone in jail. Now let's add another factor. They are experiencing misery. Now someone else may not have sympathy for where that person is at. In fact, they may even think they deserve it. Here's the thing though. A person being responsible for their situation and whether or not they deserve to feel pain are really two different conversations. But for some, they are not.

Now to our question: Do you want to be right or do you want to be successful? What we are really asking here is, if someone is wrong - at least, from your perspective - do they have a right to their position? Because the answer talks to the fundamental element we are discussing here. Valuing others. That's because when a person thinks they are right, they can gain a contempt for others, even when their position is one of choice. What they are thinking from a very base level in this example is that another person can be harmed because they deserve it.

The problem, of course, in all cases - even when a person is irrefutably right - they can never justify abuse of another. More importantly, this is not so much a question of morality or ethics but, rather, a symptom of how our caregivers treated us. Because, if we were "bad" as a kid, that meant they were allowed to mistreat us. And, therein lies the root source.

If a person sees any interaction as purely a transaction, then they can devalue someone else based upon that one event, or trait, or demographic or whatever. And when that is the case, any further discussion about behavior and, really, social behavior - because that's what we're talking about here - becomes moot. In other words, they can justify their anti-social, undesirable behavior, so curbing it is impossible without agreeing to this initial commitment; accountability to others. All others, regardless of circumstance.
In Example...
The verbiage in Content is the narration for a future video. This In Example section will also have a 2 - 4 minute offering insights and practical advice for the knowledge covered in the Content section.
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