Recently, while recording a west coast podcast, I was asked why I became a psychologist, and in particular, why I stand up strongly for the most vulnerable patients (such as those who cannot afford mental health care).
Personal vulnerability or circumstances bring a choice to look out for oneself or to look out for vulnerable others, because you can see them. It’s the nod of recognition. The most empathic people I know have suffered and can turn that lens to see others’ pain.
It’s a choice and a practice. It is also associated with mental flexibility in the workplace and in social relationships in general. For more about Emotional Intelligence see Emotional Intelligence and Agility in the Workplace.