Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
To quote one of Mariah Carey’s most popular songs, “There’s a hero, if you look inside your heart, you don’t have to be afraid of who you are.” True but sometimes when you do look inside, it's still hard to feel things. What do you do? According to these psychologists and self-help experts, the answer lies in being “outrospective.”
Roman Krznaric, a founding faculty member of The School Of Life, believes that developing a strong sense of empathy for others and the world around us is the true path to happiness. He says it’s “about stepping outside yourself and discovering who you are and how to live by looking at the world from the perspective of other people."
And, how do we do that exactly? By allowing ourselves to feel the entire spectrum of human emotions. Even the ones you hate. As psychotherapist Dr. Joe Burgo explains, “If you can't bear sadness and grief yourself, then you'll find it difficult to empathize with someone in mourning: You can't tolerate the emotions the other person evokes in you, so instead you offer rote condolence and sympathy from a distance." However, Krznaric suggests we step outside our comfort zone and strike up conversations with strangers.
Oh, and it can’t be about the weather. “You will need courage to get beyond idle chitchat and find out how they see the world — what are their views of family life, politics, creativity, and death? And, be ready to share your own thoughts." Hmm, we wonder whether we have the guts to exercise this theory on our morning commute to work. MSN Glo has more handy tips on how to flex your empathy muscle. And, let us know in the comments section below if you think being “outrospective” is the key to happiness. (MSN Glo)